By peter oluka
Majority of .ng and .com.ng websites in Nigeria are hosted in the United States, making Nigeria lose about 72 per cent of the revenue it should be generating through a local hosting of such websites, a new report has shown.
The report on the use of domain names in the national domain of Nigeria named, .ng was carried out this December by a web-hosting company, HUB8.
According to the report, out of the 34,000 sites, less than 1,000 are located in Nigeria, which is only 2.3 per cent of the total.
The country of origin for the remaining 3 per cent of sites could not be identified so Nigeria’s share is slightly larger, though still not comparable with the amount of hosting abroad.
“The dominant countries where site hosting often occurs were determined for the .NG and .COM.NG domains. The overwhelming number of sites are located in the United States (72 per cent),” translating into loss of 72 per cent hosting revenue for Nigeria, according to the report.
The .ng is Nigeria’s country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD), which is the country’s digital imprint on the World Wide Web (WWW).
This is coming just as the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), managers of the country’s domain names system (DNS) ecosystem, declared it has, so far, registered 100,973 domains in .ng domain zone as at November 30, 2017.
Meanwhile, HUB8 report was based on 89,165 domain names in the .ng domain zone, with particular focus on the details of the usage of .ng domains as it relates to website hosting.
The report, however, does not include data on premium domains (about 2,000) and some special domains that are technically registered though not used by end users.
On the distribution of the domain zones, the report reveals that most popular domain zone is .com.ng, having almost 70 per cent of all national domains registered.
The .ng domain zone, the report says, comes next although within the zone a domain name is shorter “but domain registration here costs several times more than in .com.ng while .org.ng, which is usually used by non-profit organisations, ranks third with an age backlog.
“The number of zones identified by the study include .com.ng; .ng; .org.ng; .gov.ng and .edu.ng with number of domains being 61,609 (69.1 per cent); 15,353 (17.2 per cent); 6,077 (6.8 per cent); 1,738 (1.9 per cent and 996 (1.1 per cent) respectively,” the report said.
Others such domain zones include .net.ng; .name.ng; .sch.ng; .i.ng; .mobi.ng and .mil.ng, all which have less than one per cent market share.
In terms of active websites, the HUB8 report notes that there are currently 38,864 websites in the .ng domain, not including the sites that fail to open to the connection timeout, redirects and the ones throwing an error (page is not found). “The existing sites are hosted only in half of the .com.ng and one-third of the .ng domains,” the report says.
According to the report, operating sites are reported on 45 per cent of .com.ng and .ng domains.
Also, 15 per cent of registered domains are said to be with errors indicating “connection time-out” presumably for some temporary problems regarding hosting or channels. About 3 per cent of domains are redirected to other sites and the same number displaying error pages such as “404 Page Not Found” or “500 Server Error.”
Commenting further on the findings of the report, Mr. Dmitry Deniskin, director for Emerging Markets at HUB8, said on the content management systems (CMS) of the .com.ng and .ng domains.
In the study, Deniskin said, “Often used Content Management System was detected in the existing websites, stating that the most popular CMS is expected to be WordPress, being installed on every one in three sites in the .ng and .com.ng domains.
“WordPress has a 78 per cent share of all used CMS. Blogging is currently very popular in Nigeria: almost 1, 500 domains are affiliated with Blogger.com.
“Specialised CMS utilized for e-commerce; such as Magento, Prestashop, Shopify, WooCommerce, nopCommerce, oSCommerce and X-Cart use about 500 sites in the .com.ng and .ng zones.”
Deniskin also explained that what HUB8 intends to do is to help Nigeria reverse the current situation in which 72 per cent of .com.ng and .ng domain names hosting is lost to the US.
He said: “HUB8 is a global web hosting company helping brands and individuals to easily set-up a website. Our ultimate goal is to become a Growth Partner for individuals and small enterprises in emerging markets in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
“We are providing free web hosting in Nigeria because we are aware that people postpone launching a website due to the investments involved.
“We want to make it possible for all to have a personal or business website without worrying about the costs. We have created this report to promote the national domain of Nigeria .NG. Register your .NG domain on the HUB8 Nigeria website,” he urged.
HUB8 also created a page on their website dedicated to .NG domain – https://ng.hub8.com/ng-domain. There is a directory of all active .NG websites made up as a Nigerian flag. By clicking on the flag you will be redirected to the one of the active .ng websites so you can understand how the typical Nigerian website looks like.
Meanwhile, President of Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), Mr. Sunday Folayan, who has continuously rued the poor local content in the county’s DNS ecosystem, told our correspondent that the association would support any initiative and policies aimed at deepening local hosting of .ng domain names.
“Over the years, NIRA has made conscious efforts to populate and to continue to populate the country’s DNS system. It is our belief that increased adoption of .ng domain names by individuals, businesses and government agencies would help the country to reduce the capital flight being recorded with the preponderant use of foreign domain names such as .com, .net, .za, .ua, among others.
“We also need to encourage local hosting with the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN) and similar organizations. With this we reduce cost of accessing the internet and curb revenue flight to foreign lands,” he added.
NDPR to Safeguard Personal Data of Nigerians -DG NITDA
Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has disclosed that the motive behind the issuance of Nigerian Data Protection Regulations, (NDPR) by the Agency was to safeguard the right of natural persons to data privacy, fostering safe conduct for transactions involving the exchange of personal data, enablement of Nigerian businesses to be globally compliant and competitive and to create jobs for Nigerians.
Mallam Abdullahi revealed this Friday while delivering the keynote address at the 6th annual conference of Institute Internal Auditors of Nigeria, (IIAN) with the theme:, “Agility and Resilience” which was held on zoom conference platform.
The Conference aimed at preparing participants across Internal Audits, Internal Controls, risk management, revenue and Government assurance and other business professionals to learn how to leverage on new technologies and procedures towards actualisation of the organisation’s goals and objectives.
The NITDA DG who was represented Director e-Government Development and Regulations, Dr Vincent Olatunji stated that since inception of the Agency in 2001, it has been playing a catalytic roles to spur the infusion of technology into nation’s work processes reiterating that the Agency plays “critical roles in capacity development, provision of working tools for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
“NITDA also has an existing arrangement with the office of the Auditor General of the Federation to aid the office in the discharge of its activities.”
Mallam Abdullahi said, “The Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) was issued on 25th January, 2020 by my predecessor, DrIsa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.
“As part of his think-tank then, our thinking was that Nigeria needed to quickly provide a regulatory framework for the processing of personal data.
“This was even more pertinent in consideration of the global implications of non-performance.
“Businesses where losing bids because investors felt there was no data privacy regime in Nigeria.
“The Agency’s implementation of the NDPR has been innovative and impact oriented. For the first time in data protection implementation, auditors became recognised as Data Protection Compliance Organisations (DPCO)”.
He maintained that NITDA has 72 licensed DPCOs among which are members of this “august body,” adding that “this posture is not as a result of lack of professionals in the IT industry, rather, we have made conscious efforts to carry every relevant stakeholder along in our developmental regulatory strategy.
“ I hope this noble institute would repay NITDA’s generosity by imbibing ethical and professional principles on your members for better implementation of the Regulation.”
Earlier in his remarks, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, New Capital Cooperatives Society Mr. Benedict Anyalenka while commending the organisers of the conference affirmed that data privacy and protection should be a requisite skill needed for development of the Information Technology Sector as it would create platform for protection of information against unauthorized usage.
Anyalenka, however, called for proper awareness on the importance of data privacy among organisations and stakeholders across the country to safeguard citizens’ data.
FG Reveals Plans to Deploy Technology in the Health Sector
As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government of Nigeria has announced plans to deploy information and communications technology (ICT) in the country’s health sector.
This is part of the plans to achieve transparency and accountability in health care delivery across the country.
Dr. Ngozi R. C. Azodoh, director, Special Projects, Federal Ministry of Health, who represented Osagie Emmanuel Ehanire, Honourable Minister of Health, revealed this while speaking at MTN Nigeria’s Revv Programme masterclass on Thursday, September 17, 2020 .
The virtual session themed ‘Bridging the healthcare divide through technology and partnerships’ had in attendance health sector experts including Chief Executive Officer, Hygeia HMO Limited, Obinnia Abajue; Chief Operations Officer and Co-Founder, Afya Care, Kola Oni; Managing Director, Ingress Health Partners, Dr. Orode Doherty and Chief Executive Officer, Tremendoc Limited, Ugochukwu Chikezie. The session was moderated by the General Manager, Business Development, MTN Nigeria, Omotayo Ojulatayo.
According to Azodoh, the federal government has put structures in place to utilise ICT as part of efforts to standardise the healthcare system.
“The government is working hand in hand with state governments across the country to maintain transparency and accountability, adding that ICT and other forms of electronic platforms are currently being improved and expanded following the federal government’s COVID intervention”.
She also shared that the ministry is willing to support small businesses in the sector imploring the participating SMEs to seize the opportunities provided by The Revv Programme.
“I want to ask everyone who is listening to write to the MTN Revv team and say this is one thing I want the Federal Ministry of Health to do to help my business then we can engage on how to proceed,” she enthused.
In her parting remarks, she also commended MTN Nigeria for providing a platform for SMEs to expand their capacity. “I must commend MTN for this excellent initiative. It has been very productive for me and an opportunity to transfer knowledge.”
The Revv Programme is an initiative from MTN Nigeria to help small businesses rethink and retool their operations in order to withstand the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic using a four-pronged approach that includes masterclasses, access to market, productivity tools support and advisory initiatives.
Peace House Charity Foundation Seeks for DCTC Intervention
Mallam Kashifu InuwaAbdullahi, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), asserted that if we do not empower our people, they become a problem to the society in future.
He made this know on Friday while receiving a delegation from Peace House Charity Foundation,Yola who were at the Agency’s Corporate Headquarter, Abuja to seek for interventions in the areas of ICT.
The representative of the Director General, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, Director eGovernment Development and Regulation stated that one of the mandate of the Agency is the deployment of ICT infrastructure as such the Foundation’s visit at this time is very apt as the Agency is relentlessly working on the implementation of the Digital Economy strategy.
MallamAbdullahi affirmed that Agency at the moment is looking for organisations to partner with to sustain Digital Capacity Training Centres deployed across the country.
He commended the effort of the organisation in assisting orphans with not only providing basic education but also the provision of skills, mentorship and moral upbringing.
Speaking earlier, Mr Mohammad Bello, a Director with the Foundation said that the organisation was at the Agency to seek for ICT intervention and to commend NITDA’s effort in promoting ICT knowledge across the nation.
He stated that the organisation supports education for the orphans and the less privileged, promote health care delivery especially among women and children, provide sensitisation workshop for parents (mothers) on parenting and matrimonial home, promote unity and encourage self-reliance among the populace.
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