By Adeyemi Adepetun
THE National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has expressed readiness to enforce the adoption of Nigeria’s domain name, .ng, especially among ministries departments and agencies (MDAs).
NITDA recalled that in line with the digital economy policy, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the National Second Level Domain Policy on February 16, 2022, making it mandatory for all government-owned websites and official email correspondence of all government personnel to comply.
Hence, it said that full implementation, which is under its purview, will start, firstly by inaugurating an enforcement committee on compliance.
A report by The Guardian on February 7 under the headline – ‘Nigeria’s domain name fails to gain traction, attracts 184,341 users,’ has revealed that that compliance with the directive was still low. The report revealed how businesses and MDAs shunned Nigeria’ s.ng while opting for .com, .net, .org among others.
NITDA said it is mandated by its enabling NITDA Act, 2007 to manage and administer Nigeria’s ccTLD (.ng). This gives NITDA the authority to allocate and administer the Nigerian Government Second-Level domains on .gov.ng; .edu.ng; .mil.ng; .sch.ng and any other second-level domain name that may be approved in the future.
Following the approval of the policy, NITDA has inaugurated a 14-man enforcement committee to monitor its implementation.
According to NITDA, the new policy is expected to drastically enhance public confidence in the authenticity and security of information and other services accessed from government-owned websites.
The agency explained that the Federal Government’s desire through the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is to move all its information and services online via the Nigerian Government Second-Level domains. It stressed that the online presence of the Nigerian government is a strategy for dominance in the digital economy.
NITDA stressed that the use of generic domains and private emails for government businesses and correspondences impedes the Nigerian government’s identity, security and global recognition on the Internet.
According to the agency, 99 per cent of federal MDAs have transited to the .ng domain and have maintained compliance with the Nigeria ccTLD scheme.
It said: “Unfortunately, it is not the same at the state and local government levels, where 80 per cent of administration websites and mail addresses lack the .ng validation.
“Therefore, the newly inaugurated committee has mapped out a strategy for transitioning all remaining government websites and mail addresses at all levels to .ng domains. NITDA, as a result of this, is requesting that all government websites and email addresses at all levels use the .ng domain henceforth.”
“We advise that MDAs at all levels should stop using domains from the internet providers or mail providers. NITDA is working with the relevant organizations to ensure that all government institutions have access to dedicated domain names. We are also asking the service providers to support this initiative by ascertaining that any government domain to be registered by them conforms to this directive to ensure the general adoption of .ng.”