NiRA Releases 50,000 Free .ng Domains for Citizens in Nigeria
Nigeria internet Registration Association (NiRA), managers of the Nigerian name space on the internet, the dot ng domain name has released 50, 000 free domain names for Nigerians as part of efforts to identify with the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the country. Registration of free domains commenced formally on Friday, December 31, 2010 and will run till March 21, 2011.
President of NiRA, Mary Uduma, who disclosed this in Abuja saying: "This sense of identification is tied to our perceptiveness of the collective responsibility required to project the true and appropriate Nigerian image and our conviction that the nation's country code, Top Level Domain .ng, is a veritable tool towards achieving this. To this effect, we have chosen to partner with the Ministry of Information and Communications in the re-branding Nigeria Project with the offer of 50,000 free .ng domains in 50 days."
She said the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) who will provide the necessary funding for the project implementation would champion the project.
The Agency, she said is committed to training a substantial number of Nigerian youths as web developers in readiness for an envisaged increased demand for the services of web developers with the registration of 50,000 .ng domains in the first quarter of 2011, and the target population of the .ng registry with 250,000 domains by the end of 2011, thereby preparing them for gainful employment.
The project is expected to be launched this month by NITDA who will also sponsor the capacity building effort of NiRA in the setting up of a datacenter and co-location facility to support the activation of the 250,000 domains.
NITDA promises to use the project in promoting the adoption of government policy to recognise only .ng e-mails for Government-to-Government, Government-to-Business, and Government-to-Citizens transactions.
While the free domain name offer lasts, registrars will register domains at no cost to registrants for a period of one year. The offer of free domains is restricted to the following second level domains (SLDs): .com.ng, .org.ng, .name.ng, .mobi.ng, and .sch.ng.
Registrations outside the listed SLDs will attract the usual charges and other activities in the registry such as renewal and transfer shall attract the normal fees. Recipients are expected to renew their domains at the usual fees at the expiration of the one-year period.
Since NiRA operates the Registry/Registrar module, domains can only be registered through NiRA accredited registrars, Uduma said. She listed conditions for participation in the free domain name registration to include compliance of all domain names with the NiRA domain name policy; All registrants are subject to the NiRA registrants policy; Domains that are not put to use within six months of the registration shall be withdrawn/deleted. The waiver on the domain registration fee is for a period of one year, only.
Registrants are expected to pay the necessary renewal fee at the expiration of the one-year period; Registrars may offer some value-added services to the recipients beyond the offer of free domains from NiRA. Other guidelines include the right of registrants to choose, with regard to the freebies they are willing to accept from registrars, particularly on the hosting of their domains; and that registrants may park their .ng free domains on their existing sites since it is completely disallowed to park domains on sites other than theirs.