The Federal Executive Council has approved the National Policy on the Nigerian Government Second-level Domains during its meeting yesterday (February 16).
This followed the presentation of a memo by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami.
A statement by the technical assistant (research and development) to the minister, Dr. Femi Adeluyi, said the policy was developed to strengthen public confidence in the use of digital technologies and participation in the digital economy. It is also in line with the implementation of the Nigerian e-Government Master Plan approved by the Federal Executive Council in August 2018.
“The master plan has the vision to create a world-class open and digitalised government that connects with people to drive efficiency in public administration, the responsiveness of civil services and transparency in governance, leading to improvement of the quality of life of Nigerians.
“The increasing rate of cyber-related incidences has inspired countries to develop policy instruments to effectively regulate and manage their use of information and communication technologies in government institutions, specifically electronic correspondences within the government.
“Several countries have put policies in place to ensure that official correspondences are only conducted using approved domains and platforms in government institutions. The use of generic domains and private emails for government businesses and correspondences impedes the identity, security and global recognition of the Nigerian government on the Internet,” it said.
The statement further said the use of private emails for government business has constituted a major limitation to the capabilities to archive and back-up sensitive government data, making it difficult to preserve historical correspondences and documents hosted on non-government servers.
It added, similarly, government documents that should be deleted or destroyed after a period of retention are permanently hosted on insecure servers. The Policy will be implemented by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
“It seeks to promote transparency in governance, protecting the Nigerian cyberspace and promotion of the Digital Nigeria agenda. It also seeks to accelerate the adoption of the second-level domain (.gov.ng, .edu.ng, .mil.ng) under the country code top-level domain (ccTLD.ng) with the main objective to eliminate the use of top-level domains for government business and the use of private emails for official correspondences by the end of 2022.
“The policy gives direction for the enforcement of the mandatory use of the Nigerian government second-level domains by all Federal public institutions and recommends its adoption by states and local governments. The scope covers the Nigerian government second-level domain and email services on.gov.ng, .mil.ng, .edu.ng, .sch.ng, and any other government-owned, second-level domains that could be approved in the future.
“As part of the implementation of this policy, federal public institutions are to obtain a Nigerian Government Second-level Domain from NITDA and migrate to that platform with immediate effect.
As part of the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), the ministry will continue to position Nigeria to leverage technology to become a sustainable and secure digital economy,” the statement added.