It is interesting to note that while Nigeria has over 19 million Facebook users, it has way less than 100,000 .NG domain names. It is, however, common knowledge that the more domain names a country has in the internet, the better it is for her, especially, in the conservation of its scarce foreign reserves.
I recently had a one-on-one with Rev’d Sunday Folayan, the President of the Nigerian Internet Registration Association, NiRA, and the topic of discussion centred on the relevance and importance of the .NG domain name.
Rev’d Folayan said that, to get more businesses to patronise and use the .NG domain name beyond what we currently have, we need to enable more SMEs and MSMEs. This is because by doing that, we will be looking at way over 37 million SMEs and MSMEs.
He, however, said that the prospect of having most SMEs and MSMEs adopting the .NG domain is hampered by factors such as the right education.
According to him, when people have the right education, they will understand how this will add value to the business and their attitude will change.
Other hurdles, he identified, that we must overcome for more people to accept the .NG domain include payment assurance and confidence as well as the ability for them to use the devices as there are some learning curves to overcome in the use of technology.
Rev’d Folayan stated that, out of the over 37 million SMEs in Nigeria today, only about 200,000 of them are ready to GI online now, hence, this becomes the catchment for getting people to register the .NG domains.
He reiterated that, currently, only over 80,000. NG domain names have been registered, so far, stressing that the .NG registry is only second to South Africa in terms of the number of registrants.
Stressing the advantages of using the .NG domain name over the .Com domain name, Rev’d Folayan stated that the one advantage is that a Nigerian business registered on the domain will be found faster online in Nigeria than one registered in the .Com registry. He said that as your business grows, you can then move outside Nigeria and there, you can register under the domain registrars if the countries you opened an office in, e.g., .GH in Ghana or .SL in Sierra Leone, etc. He gave the example of Google that has the google.com, but also has google.com.ng domain in Nigeria which shows to show that geo-locating is very key to a business being found online. He stated that the big players in business understand the importance of tying their business to a locality which helps to ensure more visibility and patronage and the small businesses should take a queue.
Rev’d Folayan emphasized that it is a matter of pride, for instance, for South Africans to use the .ZA domain in South Africa but they are not compelled by any government policy to do so. Likewise, in Germany, practically all businesses use the .DE domain, which has even now crossed the 5 million mark in registry.
The citizens, he maintained, understand importance of being nationalistic and identifying with their national brand. NiRA, he assured, is also not coercing anyone to register the .NG domain, but encourage Nigerian businesses and individuals to take pride in the .NG domain.
On the notion that the .NG domain is expensive, Rev’d Folayan stated that the .NG domain is appropriately priced. He assured that the pricing is based on the long-term sustainability of the registry so that it can continue to offer its services.
Stating what NiRA is doing to solve the challenge of education of users, Rev’d Folayan said that NiRA has established the NiRA Academy which is a DNS Centre of excellence in Nigeria that trains the needed manpower in all spheres related to the business and spheres that NiRA operates such as Engineers, Technicians, Entrepreneurs, Policy makers, Internet governance, law enforcement, etc.
Rev’d Folayan stated that, if everything is okay, by the time the .NG domain registration hits the one million mark, it will mean that between 200,000 and 400,000 businesses would have been created.
He said that NiRA is creating excitement to make this happen by creating the NiRA Awards which is now the flagship for businesses, Entrepreneurs and Startups to showcase what they are doing in the domain name industry. He also stated the modus for price reduction of the .NG domain.
CFA is the Founder, www.CFAtech.ng & Co-producer/Presenter,Tech Trends on Channels Television
Jumia Partners Reckitt Benkiser, Nokia, Others to Enable Consumers Access Quality Products
Jumia has launched a Brand Festival campaign in partnership with top global brands such as Reckitt Benkiser, Unilever, Nokia, Intel, HP, Nexus, Hisense, Sharp, Samsung, Binatone, XIAOMI, ABSOLUT, Dettol, and Logitech.
The campaign which is scheduled to run from September 21st to 27th, will provide consumers access to top quality products directly from the manufacturers, eliminating all third parties, thereby reducing the cost of the products, which will enable consumers to save money.
Jumia Nigeria CEO, Massimiliano Spalazzi, said: “The aim of the campaign is to enable our consumers to save more money while getting the best quality products directly from the brand manufacturers. Consumers today are more conscious of the quality of the product they buy on Jumia, and at the same time want to save money while shopping.
In the wake of COVID-19, we have continued to strive to operate so that consumers can continue to stay at home, use e-commerce to shop, and stay safe in this trying time. We are proud to partner with Unilever, Nokia and other top brands as part of our commitment to provide customers easy access to quality products directly from the manufacturers at best prices.
Head of Key Accounts and e-Commerce at Reckitt Benckiser Nigeria Ltd, Afam Onwordi, stated that: “We have enjoyed a good and healthy relationship with Jumia in the last couple of years.
“As our fight in RB is making access to the highest quality hygiene, wellness and nourishment a right and NOT a privilege, we would therefore always seize the opportunity of every major event like this (Brand Festival) to reward our consumers with interesting offers and deals across our wide range of products.”
Senior Business Manager at HMD Global, Emmanuel Ossai, said: “For us at HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, we are very excited to be supporting Jumia on this festival for authentic brands in Nigeria.
“We have a commitment to continuously deliver value and believe that this partnership will afford Nigerians more opportunities to enjoy the beauty of quality hardware and the secure Android experience that we offer across our range of Nokia smartphones.
“Interestingly, we have new exciting devices that will be unveiled to our Nigerian customers in the coming weeks and we cannot wait for you to have a feel of hardware magic carefully combined with software excellence. So, keep watching this space.”
TikTok Picks Oracle to Provide ‘Secure’ Cloud Tech
Enterprise software giant Oracle announced that it has been chosen to become TikTok’s “secure” cloud technology provider.
According to Oracle, this technical decision by TikTok was heavily influenced by Zoom’s recent success in moving a large portion of its video-conferencing capacity to the Oracle Public Cloud.
Oracle’s announcement comes after TikTok parent ByteDance last week said it will not be selling the video-sharing app’s US operations to software giant Microsoft.
This after US president Donald Trump signed an executive order on 6 August, blocking all transactions with ByteDance in an effort to address “national emergency” issues.
On 14 August, the US president issued an order that gave ByteDance 90 days to divest the US operations of TikTok.
Since then, US companies such as Microsoft and Oracle have been lining up as potential buyers for the popular short video app.
As the trade war between the US and China rages on, the US government has accelerated its efforts to purge Chinese apps and technology companies that it deems untrustworthy.
Trump and his administration raised national security issues, alleging the Chinese-owned company will share sensitive user data with the Chinese government.
“TikTok picked Oracle’s new Generation 2 Cloud infrastructure because it’s much faster, more reliable, and more secure than the first generation technology currently offered by all the other major cloud providers,” says Oracle chief technology officer Larry Ellison.
“In the 2020 Industry CloudPath survey that IDC recently released where it surveyed 935 infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) customers on their satisfaction with the top IaaS vendors including Oracle, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, IBM and Google Cloud…Oracle IaaS received the highest satisfaction score.”
“As a part of this agreement, TikTok will run on the Oracle Cloud and Oracle will become a minority investor in TikTok Global,” says Oracle CEO Safra Catz.
“Oracle will quickly deploy, rapidly scale and operate TikTok systems in the Oracle Cloud. We are 100% confident in our ability to deliver a highly secure environment to TikTok and ensure data privacy to TikTok’s American users, and users throughout the world.
“This greatly improved security and guaranteed privacy will enable the continued rapid growth of the TikTok user community to benefit all stakeholders.”
Inq. Acquires Vodacom’s Business in Nigeria, Others
inq. Holdings Limited, artificial intelligence service provider, has acquired Vodacom Business Africa’s operations in Nigeria, Zambia and Cote d’Ivoire.
It plans further acquisition in Cameroon subject to regulatory approvals.
Mr. Valentine Chime, managing director, inq. Holdings Limited, said the 100 per cent acquisition of the Vodacom Business Africa’s operations in the three countries was in pursuit of the company’s dream of building pan-African network that will help in creating better future through digital solutions.
Domiciled in Mauritius, inq. Holdings Limited is a subsidiary of Convergence Partners Communications Infrastructure Fund, a fund dedicated solely to communications infrastructure and related services and technologies across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
Formerly known as Synergy Communications, the latest acquisition has grown inq.’s regional footprint with operations in 12 cities in seven countries across Africa. It has existing operations in Botswana, Malawi and South Africa with an additional investment in Mozambique.
“Under the inq. banner the company will embark on the next phase of building a unified Pan-African cloud and digital service provider, bringing to market a very relevant suite of next generation technology solutions in the fields of Edge AI, SD-WAN/NFV and Cloud,”Chime said.
According to him, with operations in major African cities of Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano, Gaborone, Lusaka, Ndola, Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu, Abidjan and Johannesburg, the inq. team prides itself on global best practice methodologies customised to local customs in each of the 16 cities, covering different sectors including banking, oil and gas, fast moving consumer goods, mining, health, real estate, information technologies, public sector and logistics.
“Covid-19 has accelerated digital transformation, and inq. is perfectly positioned to deliver intelligent connectivity through seamless delivery of cloud and digital services and technologies to our clients. We are about simpler, seamless solutions,” Chime said.
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