THE .NG DOMAIN DISPUTE - LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL?
A request to ICANN to redelegate Nigerian Country Code Top Level Domain (.ng ccTLD) has been ratified, writes Shina Badaru. The transfer to the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), on behalf of government, called "redelegation" in technical parlance ends over eight-year old dispute among stakeholders seeking to wrest control from the ex-administrative contact person, Mrs. Ibukun Odusote, who also backed the status change by ICANN.
The transfer took effect June 9, 2004 and ICANN now recognises NITDA as the .ng domain name "manager". Following the MoU reached with the NITDA, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), the body that manages the Internet domain-name system root, on June 9 2004 altered the administrative contact information created March 15, 1995 on its web site.
Amazingly the dispute required Presidential intervention in January of this year. In resolving the controversy, the President directed that the TLD being a national resource, should be managed by government, and therefore NITDA should immediately assume custody of the .ng ccTLD. He also directed Mrs. Odusote to transfer possession and custody of the TLD to NITDA. However Obasanjo also added that NITDA should set up a non governmental organization (NGO), representing the interest of the Internet Community and ICT stakeholders in Nigeria, to handle the actual management of the .ng ccTLD.