The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the National Government Policy, a second-level domain aimed at protecting official communications using government top-level domains.
the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantamirevealed this when he addressed State House correspondents on the outcome of the Council meeting, chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said government officials must now migrate from using generic domains in their websites and emails to the “second level below the government top-level domain.”
According to him, the use of private emails like yahoo.com; hotmail.com or gmail.com for official communications from government officials would no longer be tolerated.
“The note I presented is our national policy, which has been approved by the Federal Executive Council. The policy was titled National Policy on Government, Second Level Domain.
“This policy has been approved, and it focuses more on the requirement for federal public institutions, ministries, departments, agencies and all institutions as long as they are for the government to migrate from the use of the domain generic in their websites and emails to our second level domain under the government top level domain.
“For example, today you will find that some government institutions will engage in official communications using private email: yahoo.com; hotmail.com, gmail.com, and this is an official communication.
“And someone can retire or complete their term or the term can be terminated, and they will go with the same email. And in this e-mail, there are many official documents.
“So this will no longer be tolerated by the government. All official communication must be (using) an official email. And this email should not be generic. It must be dot government dot ng.
“What’s most important is dot.ng, it’s our national identity. There are many second level domain categories, some are for the military, you’ll see like mil.ng; mil is a form short of military.Point ng for Nigeria.
“You can see .gov.ng. gov for government and ng for Nigeria. So there are second level domain categories, while our national top level domain.ng must be present on our websites, so that anyone accessing them will know that this website is from Nigeria. Whereas for email, it should reflect the official name.”
He said the benefits of the new policy would include protecting the country’s cyberspace as well as safeguarding the national identity.
“Plus, there are so many benefits to doing this. First, our national security. Websites are created in other countries without a domain name and some claim to be from Nigeria, this will go a long way in compromising our cyberspace, which cannot be ignored.
“Second, national identity. Our national identity is essential; any website in Nigeria, especially for the government, must have dot.ng. From anywhere, you will know that it is a website Nigerian web.
“And it will go a long way to promoting and improving our global rankings in human development, poverty alleviation and many more.
“If the website does not have this, in terms of the assessment, many international organizations doing this assessment would not be able to get the correct websites of Nigerian institutions. And it will definitely affect our world ranking. It’s because of it. Our national identity is important.
“Number three, global recognition. This will give us global recognition because in the assessment they will count and find out how many institutions are Nigerian, what they have done, what is their performance, what have they put implemented so far.
“So that’s also important. Also, there’s transparency. That transparency will also help us in some ways.
“And finally, there is public trust. If you receive an e-mail, dot government dot ng, you will be sure that it is from a government institution.
“So public trust is essential. And if you look at a crime today in the country yahoo yahoo (advanced fee scam) it’s from the generic email somebody can sit in the comfort of their room , create an email using yahoo, bearing someone’s name and committing the crime.
“That’s why even the local name of it, they call it Yahoo Yahoo. It comes from using generic email,” Mr. Pantami said.
He said that all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) should be in line with the new national policy to promote transparency and good governance.
“It is now a national policy. We must frequent our official accounts and communicate officially when you are about to leave office, there are procedures on how to return the official email or how the email can be closed completely.
“And a new one can be created for the new government official so that the government is able to regulate this effectively,” he added.
Mr. Pantami revealed that an official circular would soon be issued, explaining the best way to begin the immediate implementation of the policy.
He said the National Information Technology Development Agency, which is the custodian of the government domain and the second-level domain, would be readily available to assist MDAs wishing to enter the new policy.
“And every government official is supposed to have an official email that they can communicate officially.
“So this policy has been endorsed by the Federal Government of Nigeria. And part of the policy also states that lack of compliance cannot be tolerated by the government,” he said.
On ASUU’s denial of his professorship at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), the minister declined to comment, saying the matter was already before the courts.
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