The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) was founded on March 23, 2005 as a stakeholder-led organisation, charged with the management of the Nigeria’s country code Top Level Domain Name (ccTLD), dot ng. The transfer of the appropriate management of this important National Resource was coordinated by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) on behalf of the Federal government of Nigeria. Stakeholders within Nigeria’s Internet community participated in its formation. It was registered as an Incorporated Trustee on February 9, 2007.
NIRA’s formation brought to an end the long years of controversy in the country, over the management of this critical national resource, following the intervention of the then President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. The re-delegation of the .ng ccTLD came nearly 12 years after the country code was hosted first in Italy, and later by Mr Randy Bush, an American. While Mr Bush was the technical contact for the ccTLD, Mrs. Ibukun Odusote served as the administrative contact.
NIRA’s Constitution was adopted by Stakeholders, at a meeting held on March 28, 2006. A Board of Trustees (BoT) was elected among the stakeholders with Dr. Isaac A. Odeyemi as the pioneer Chairman, shortly after the adoption of the Constitution. By May 1, 2007, the first Executive Board of NIRA was elected with Engr. Ndukwe Kalu of blessed memory leading a 10-man Board.
NiRA adopted the 3-R model (Registry/Registrar/Registrant model) of operation in the operation and management of the .ng ccTLD. The implication of this is that NIRA does not handle the registration of domain names directly. Registrations can only be done through NIRA certified Registrars. These Registrars are certified by NiRA to facilitate the registration, transfer, renewal, and modification of registration data for customers that apply for .ng domain names. NiRA has Fifty Five (55) certified Registrars as at September 2015. The Registrars are allowed to appoint re-sellers for their operations.
An initial call to interest companies, both residents in Nigeria and in the Diaspora to be pioneer registrars was done in April 2008. After a painstaking evaluation process by the NiRA Registrar Accreditation committee, the Executive Board approved the appointment of twenty-nine (29) Pioneer Registrars for the .ng Registry, at the various levels (Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Standard) in October 2008. Since then, Applications are received from organisations who want to become NiRA Certified Registrars on a regular basis. NIRA’s Policy does not limit the number of certified Registrars. An accreditation process is scheduled quarterly.