||Request of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) for Redelegation of .ng Top-Level Domain
The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (the IANA), as part of the administrative
functions associated with management of the domain-name system root, is
responsible for receiving requests for delegation and redelegation of
top-level domains, investigating the circumstances pertinent to those
requests, and reporting on the requests. This report gives the findings
and conclusions of the IANA on its investigation of various requests for
redelegation of the .ng (Nigeria) country-code top-level domain (ccTLD).
Factual and Procedural Background
In 1995, the University of Southern California's Information Sciences
Institute (which then performed the IANA functions) approved a request
for establishment of the .ng ccTLD. At that time and today, that two-letter
code was and is set forth on the ISO 3166-1 list maintained by the ISO
3166 Maintenance Agency (ISO 3166/MA) as the approved alpha-2 code for
Upon its establishment on 15 March 1995, the .ng ccTLD was delegated by
Dr. Jon Postel (then in charge of the IANA function at the Information
Sciences Institute) to Ms. Iyabo Odusote from Yaba College of Technology,
Lagos, Nigeria as administrative contact; and Mr. Abraham Gebrehewit,
from IAT, Pisa, Italy, as the technical contact.
In March 1998, IANA received two expressions of interest to redelegate
the .ng ccTLD to Nigeria Telecommunications Limited, PTT (NITEL) but also
to Nigeria Internet Group (NIG). Because those requests happened before
the formation of ICANN, the records regarding them are not available to
the ICANN staff. Moreover, these requests were not pursued further by
the parties involved, and therefore ICANN has taken no action regarding
In the Nigerian National Policy for Information Technology (IT) dated
March 2001, approved by the Federal Executive Council in March 2001, in
Chapter 3: Governance, under 3.3 strategies – it says “(ix) safeguarding
the effective use of the dot NG (.ng) Domain name for Nigeria, with NITDA
as the operating agency.” Following the approval of the National IT Policy
by the Federal Executive Council, NITDA was established. NITDA's mandate
is diverse and vast, but all their responsibilities fall under the aegis
of fostering the development and growth of IT in Nigeria. In an effort
towards ensuring that the policy's implementation proceeds with maximum
effectiveness, NITDA will regulate, monitor, evaluate, and verify progress
on an ongoing basis under the supervision and coordination of the Federal
Ministry of Science and Technology.
In a message dated 8 December 2003, the Nigerian Government, through the
Federal Ministry of Science and Technology recognized The National IT
Development Agency (NITDA) as the appropriate delegee for the .ng ccTLD
and expressed an interest to have NITDA formally recognized by ICANN as
the delegee for the .ng ccTLD.
Mrs. Ibukun Odusote, the existing Administrative Contact, has expressed
support for the redelegation request. Mr. Randy Bush, who became the Technical
Contact on 30 July 2001, has also expressed his support for the redelegation.
To clarify and document the relative roles and responsibilities of NITDA,
the Government of Nigeria, and ICANN; representatives of the parties have
drafted the bilateral communications between each pair of the three parties.
A NITDA-ICANN Agreement was entered in April 2004. The Nigerian Government
has also sent ICANN communications recognizing ICANN's role in coordinating
the DNS to preserve global interoperability. In December 2003, NITDA expressed
its desire to execute the appropriate MOU with ICANN, and on April 2004
the ICANN Board authorized the entry of such an agreement with NITDA.
This report is being provided under the contract
for performance of the IANA function between the United States Government
and ICANN. Under that contract, ICANN performs the IANA function, which
receiving delegation and redelegation requests concerning ccTLDs,
investigating the circumstances pertinent to those requests, making its
recommendations, and reporting actions undertaken in connection with processing
In acting on redelegation requests, the IANA currently follows the practices
summarized in "Internet Domain Name System Structure and Delegation"
(ICP-1). ICP-1 represents
an update of the portions of RFC
1591 (which was issued in March 1994) dealing with ccTLDs, and reflects
subsequent documents and evolution of the policies followed by the IANA
through May 1999. Relevant guidance is also provided in the GAC Principles.
In considering delegation or redelegation of a ccTLD, the IANA seeks input
from persons significantly affected by the transfer, particularly those
within the nation or territory which the ccTLD has been established to
benefit. As noted in ICP-1,
the parties affected include especially the relevant government or public
authority: "The desires of the government of a country with regard
to delegation of a ccTLD are taken very seriously. The IANA will make
them a major consideration in any TLD delegation/transfer discussions."
Based on the materials submitted and the IANA's evaluation of the circumstances,
NITDA qualifies as an appropriate manager for the .ng registry. It has
the support of both the Nigerian Internet community, and the Nigerian
Government. As noted above, the government of Nigeria through the Federal
Ministry for Science and Technology has formally endorsed NITDA as the
appropriate delegee for the .ng registry.
Mutual agreement of the old and the new delegees is a factor that ICANN
takes very seriously when considering redelegation requests. Here, the
former administrative contact supports the change in delegation and the
technical contact has stated that they have no objection.
The GAC Principles serve as "best practices" to guide governments
in assuming proper roles with respect to the Internet's naming system,
which the GAC has observed is “a
public resource . . . administered in the public or common interest”.
In general, they recognize that each government has the ultimate responsibility
within its territory for its national public-policy objectives, but also
that ICANN has the responsibility for ensuring that the Internet domain-name
system continues to provide an effective and interoperable global naming
system. The GAC Principles recommend that governments and ICANN pursue
their respective roles by creating a framework for accountability memorialized
in communications with each other and with the ccTLD manager (see clause
2). The GAC Principles guide governments on how to responsibly structure
their relations with ccTLD managers (see clauses
5.5 and clause
9). Among these specific principles, the best practices contemplate
that governments will assist in ensuring that the ccTLD manager complies
with ICANN polices related to global coordination of the Internet DNS
9.1.7 and 9.1.8).
By migrating the delegation of the .ng ccTLD to a more formal, legally
enforceable set of arrangements between a delegee organization, the relevant
government, and ICANN (which performs the IANA function) the proposed
delegation will promote service to the local Internet community and will
help assure continued Internet interoperability through the global technical
coordination that ICANN was created to provide.
According to the relevant communications, NITDA is well-suited to be inclusive
of, and accountable to, the Nigerian Internet community; and to operate
through appropriate open, transparent, and inclusive processes.
The structure proposed by NITDA and endorsed by the Nigerian Government is
to have NITDA undertake management of the .ng ccTLD under appropriate
oversight of the Nigerian Government concerning the national policy interests.
NITDA and the Nigerian Government also acknowledge and support ICANN's
responsibility for coordinating management of the DNS, including the .ng
ccTLD, to safeguard global technical coordination interests. In reviewing
the request, in light of the Nigerian Government's endorsement of NITDA
as the appropriate manager, and in view of achievement of agreements documenting
the framework of accountability described above; the IANA concludes that
the .ng ccTLD should be redelegated to NITDA.
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