Quite frankly, I may not be be able to fully express my gratitude at the number of goodwill messages I have received following the announcement that I am now a member of the Executive Board of Directors of the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) and the only words I can utter at this point is A Big Thank you!
In the midst of all the thousands of messages and prayers that have come my way through online and offline channels, however, one follower of mine chose to stand out because, rather than just congratulate me alone, he sought to know my vision while on the NiRA board. He asked, “CFA, now that you are a NiRA Board Member, what should we expect?”
This is indeed a pretty instructive question, one that alerts you when the tea party is over and it is time to work. Be that as it may, I recall that a few years ago, when it become public that I will be the co-producer and presenter of Tech Trends on Channels Television, another good friend of mine, Jude Mgbaka asked me a similar question; “CFA, you own a blog, write a column in a Newspaper, host a radio show that airs in multiple states and now TV. What, exactly, are you hoping to achieve?”
My response to Jude was simple. “I have no idea but, I see a gap that needs to be filled and I want to be the one to fill it. My conviction is that, for IT entrepreneurs to really enjoy greater success more and more, Nigerians will have to become digital citizens in the real sense of it”, was my response to him.
Now, I am not referring to just tweeting and sharing stuff online. No. It has to grow to the point where we actually have more Nigerians creating solutions and doing actual transactions online. This is when the real value will begin to be felt along the entire value chain.
Well, back to the subject of the day. What next, now that members of the Nigeria Internet Registration Association, (NiRA), has found me fit to be on the executive board of directors? The answer to the question is actually pretty simple and it is spelt out in the brief manifesto that I sent to members during the campaign:
- Improve awareness for .NG
- Strengthen Communication
- Increase advocacy for the .NG brand
NiRA is a stakeholders association, so, no one can singlehandedly achieve any goal alone, which means I will certainly work with other members of the executive board to achieve these and other set objectives. I know the road ahead is not exactly going to be easy because, there is so much to learn along the way, but thankfully, I love challenges and, therefore, willing to give it all it takes.
Today, we have less than 100,000 domain names on the .NG registry, but it is my conviction that we can hit 1,000,000 if we get it right. Why not? We have got the numbers. About 37 million SMEs and 100 million Internet users is simply not a joke.
May I, at this point, appreciate all members of the Nigeria Internet Registration Association, (NiRA), for working collectively to create an outstanding association that proves that if we do certain things right, we will get the expected right outcome. Not forgetting all the past and present executives, trustees and staff for working hard to put NiRA on the proper foundation – I acknowledge and appreciate the good work done so far.
A special thank you to NiRA members for the opportunity given me to serve. It is now time to collectively work together and take .NG to the next level!