Nigeria lose billions on hosting domain names

By Sammie Idika, Lagos

Nigeria is losing not less than N10 billion yearly through hosting its country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD), dotng (.ng) domain names offshore.

This was disclosed by the President of Nigeria Internet Registration Association-NIRA, Sunday Folayan.

Domain hosting is ‘renting a space’ on the internet to hold a website, so that anyone can find your website, by typing in your domain name.

Folayan said that hosting of domain name was a pure business decision, which had both security and economic implications.

He explained that just one per cent of the .ng domains registered by NIRA’s registrars, is what is hosted in the country.

 “And if we estimate, hosting has the income of about five times to 10 times the cost of domain name registration. You will see that it is a lot of money we are talking about.
So 99 per cent of what NIRA has registered is hosted outside and NIRA has conservatively put what Nigeria is losing by today’s value of not less than N10 billion, in terms of hosting from the .ng domain. “There are other .com domains that are also registered by NIRA, which could be more than five times the .ng registered.
So we are talking of not less than N50 billion, plus the N10 billion from the .ng, making a total of not less than N60 billion,’’
he said.

Security
The NIRA President pointed out that information put on the internet was not safe, as people from anywhere in the world could hack into it.

He said that such data would be better secured, if hosted within the country, than outside.

Folayan decried the hosting of .ng domain names outside Nigeria, as it amounted to capital flight and was not good for Nigeria’s economy.

The president said that NIRA had a total of 56 accredited registrars, who handled the actual registration of the domain names.

He said that of the 56 registrars, 79 per cent were Nigerians, while the remaining was from the UK, Germany and other countries.

According to him, of the 19,649 domain names registered and hosted by NIRA’s registrars, only 1.33 per cent is hosted in Nigeria.

  “All the rest are hosted outside Nigeria. This is capital flight, it is something that bothers NIRA and we are looking at ways to mitigate that and help reserve foreign exchange, particularly at this very tight time for the country,’’ he said.

Folayan further stated that .ng (like our currency, the Naira and the +234 for country code) was the official Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)-approved ccTLD for Nigeria.

“The availability of names is better on the .ng ccTLD than on the generic top-level domain (gTLD) like .com, .org. With the .ng, our primary Domain Name System (DNS) servers are secured and locally managed with multiple cast servers located around the world,’’ he added.

Folayan stressed that hosting businesses on the .ng would help to support the Nigerian economy and provide jobs for local Information Technology (IT) professional.