Wike’s potholed governorship ambition

By Odimegwu Onwumere

The emergence of Barr Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike as the gubernatorial flagbearer of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Rivers State for the 2015 elections was an accomplishment through tumult. It was known that about sixteen fellow party’s competitors were shortchanged in a kangaroo primary that the dust has yet not settled.

Some of the persons who cried foul on how Wike emerged as the party’s flagbearer are decamping to other available political parties to pursue their political careers. Yet, Wike sees himself as the next governor of Rivers State, after the tenure of the incumbent Hon. Chibuike Amaechi government expires in May 2015.

amaechi and wike

(Amaechi and Wike)

As a Supervising Minister of Education before coming home to pursue his deficient political ambition, Wike was sycophantic. One of his sycophancies was the boast that his number one main-concern was to ensure the re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015 and, not the succession scuttle in Rivers State.

But where is he today? Is it not dangerous in a place when a man speaks from the sides of his mouth? This is the person we have in Wike! As Nigerians knew, Wike made that comment when he paid homage to an ex-militant leader, Chief Soboma Jackrich (aka Egberipapa) in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State.

Not humiliated by his perceived ties with the “militant”, Wike double-barreled his mouth and described Amaechi as a “drowning politician”. While the primary election that saw him up as the state’s PDP flagbearer was fingered by aggrieved party men and women as controversial, the same Wike, when at the den of the ex-Militant, was asking the members of the party to work, come together as one and, ensure President Jonathan’s re-election.

His self-seeking ambition today to become governor did not allow him to seeing that a house divided against itself will fall. But in April while on the allegiance tour to the ex-Militant, Wike said: “A house divided against itself cannot stand. My priority is to ensure the re-election of the president in 2015 and not who succeeds Governor Rotimi Amaechi. The governor (Amaechi) is an insensitive, irresponsible and drowning politician.”

Has that ‘house’ today not been divided by Wike? How can Rivers masses take such a man who says different thing in one forum and another in the other forum seriously? The man who once said that he had no interest in who succeeds Amaechi, but today, he is fighting dirty to succeed the same Amaechi. Wike has never been open to tell the masses when he visited any intellectual in Rivers State (if he actually did), but was quick to inform that he visited an ex-Militant (for who knows what?) in prolongation of his talks aimed at enhancing the chances of President Jonathan ahead of the 2015 presidential election.

However, no matter how Wike meanders to convince the Rivers State masses to believe in his governorship ambition and vote for him, Glory is in the Most High that many people know who Wike is and do not take him seriously. The Former Chief Security Adviser to ex-Governor Peter Odili in September was credited with a statement where he fingered Wike as the source of the acid relationship between President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Amaechi.

As a Rivers State chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, according to media reports, the Former Chief Security Adviser to ex-Governor Odili said: “The issue of the crisis between Amaechi and the President is a self-made scheme of a particular aspirant who feels that such is the best way to achieve his ambition. And that aspirant has been able to bring fire at the backyard of the President to say ‘well, if you don’t support me, this fire will burn you. But if you bring me, I have the capacity to off this fire.’ And so, Mr President is being arm-twisted.”

The Former Chief Security Adviser to ex-Governor Odili was tall with his statement that the PDP should not play to the rigmarole script of Wike because: “If the PDP brings a candidate other than Wike, we can achieve that peace, but if Wike is the candidate for 2015 governorship in the state, we cannot achieve that peace. Wike’s candidature will also generate bad blood for the party…”

The scarce peace that was about to return to the PDP in the state following the exit of Amaechi was swept away when Wike refused to abide by the dictates that Ikwerre, where Amaechi comes from, has been governor for nearly eight years and should give way for  the more than 20 ethnic groups in Rivers State to produce governor.

Wike who is also from Ikwerre believes that other ethnic groups were garbage since he believed that he singlehandedly sponsored the PDP in the state after the exit of Amaechi from the party. As if the Former Chief Security Adviser to ex-Governor Odili knew, the candidature of Wike is causing tension not only in the party, but to the good people and residents of Rivers State, who have vowed to resist his emergence as governor in 2015.

Not even the conspicuous endorsement of Wike by Mrs. Patience Goodluck Jonathan will save him. Although, this writer is not a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and not against any political party in the country, it holds water the swagger by the APC in the state that “Wike Won’t Get Up To 10 % Of Votes In 2015”.

It is an informal signed-agreement even by those who are not residents of Rivers State. It is as if the name Wike translates to trouble, because according to an observer: “Wike’s emergence as the Rivers PDP flagbearer was mired in controversy when 16 other aspirants were physically prevented from attending the governorship primary election of the state.”

A recent press release by the APC in the state, stated that, “Wike would have tried to be man enough and allow the G16 to contest and defeat him flatly instead of allowing himself to be imposed as Rivers PDP governorship candidate through what has been generally accepted as the most fraudulent and kangaroo governorship congresses ever in Nigeria’s history.

“This is a man who is perpetually afraid of competition and who never believes in a free and fair election, hence we are not surprised that he brazenly used his stooges and clowns in the PDP to frustrate and rig out the 16 better qualified gubernatorial aspirants. To say the least, Wike’s governorship ambition is both ungodly and unholy, while his emergence as the PDP’s candidate is shabby, dubious, shameful and undemocratic… For having the temerity to levy a false accusation against the APC when all that we have been doing is to state the facts regarding Wike’s unreliable nature, his lack of preparation for the weighty responsibility of governorship and the wickedness of his party, the evil PDP, towards Rivers State and her people.

“We still maintain that his emergence is against the principle of zoning after the Upland section of the state has ruled for 16 years through Dr. Peter Odili and Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi at the detriment of Riverine section of the State.” Apart from the APC lamentation, pundits of the politics of Rivers State knew that Wike was living in the past, because he could not match even the unpopular APC candidate, Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside, in any election.

Hardly are notable citizens of the state want to associate their names with Wike’s. Last time, Alabo Tonye Graham-Douglas who is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party dismissed claims that he endorsed the governorship aspiration of Wike. Graham-Douglas made the statement through his personal aide, Mr. Ken Robinson that though he accidentally met with the former minister at a church service in Port Harcourt, the meeting which was tagged “chance meeting” did not translate to an endorsement of Wike.

Ms Annkio Briggs who is a Niger Delta activist and spokesperson for the Ijaw Republican Assembly, said in a report of  November 13, 2014: “The PDP would not win the state if it decided to choose the immediate past Minister of State for Education, Chief  Nyesom Wike, as its governorship candidate.”

Briggs further stated: “The situation in Rivers State is going to be bloody because it seems as if the PDP national appears to be listening to one person alone in a state of multi-ethnic nationalities. The PDP must dialogue with all the stakeholders if they want to win the state. Wike has not finished the fight against Amaechi; why does he want to share the spoils of the war? There are ministers in other states. I have never heard them say they are fighting for President Goodluck Jonathan in order to become governors in their states. But Wike has been deceiving Nigerians”.

Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Tel: +2348032552855

Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com


Smoking fish traditionally may soon belong to history

By Odimegwu Onwumere

The owner of Tee Ess Farms in Lagos, Tunde Sanni, was licensed by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to produce smoked fish for the U.S.; but understandably, Sanni did not gain this prominence through the traditional way of smoking fish.

smoked fish

(Photo: culled from Internet)

The traditional way of smoking fish is done by leaving the fish to be naturally instilled with smoke generated by burning wood. In most cases, smokehouses are built for the purpose of smoking fish.

This tradition is however gradually being replaced with mechanical methods of preserving fish. It is held that these new methods preserve fish in less time, unlike the traditional way, which is left overnight to naturally care-for the fish. Kiln technology, refrigeration and freezing of fish are among the new inventions for preserving fish.

The smoking kiln technology has been espoused in Lagos State by 168 farmers in the aggregate of 71 males and 97 females. Spectators said that more than 2, 215 jobs were created as a consequence of the novel technology.

Sanni’s breakthrough was coming many years the international market could not accept the traditional way of smoking fish, being perceived by traditional Nigerian families, as the best ways to preserve fish. This breakthrough was perhaps necessitated by the growing demand of smoked fish by Africans living in the Diaspora.

A study said: The US and Europe remain the major destinations for Africans who venture abroad. As a result of this transcontinental migration, and a growing appreciation for African flavours and food, the demand for dried and smoked fish appears to be going through the roof.

Press officers supposed of the infiltration, as coming from the accomplishment of the Commercial Agriculture Development Project (CADP), which was maintained by the World Bank. And Tunde Sanni is not only the owner of Tee Ess Farms in Lagos, but, also, a member of Post-Harvest Commercial Fish Processor Commodity Interest Group (CIG).

He said: “Before the CADP intervention, processors were producing 150 kilogrammes of locally smoked fish per week, using excess charcoal with all its negative health implications and entry barrier to the international market.”

Farmers were introduced to the new smoking kiln technology by the efforts of CADP. It was given that kiln technology improves fish processing by reducing the smoke level to internationally acceptable standards.

“After the technology intervention and participation in capacity-building activities facilitated by CADP, our smoking methods just got better…. My farm also smokes fish for other farmers according to international standards and they package the fish with their label,” Sanni said.

What this is circuitously causing the traditional way of smoking fish is that with CADP’s new intervention, the traditional way of smoking fish is conceptualized as unacceptable in the international market in order to enable the manufacturers of the technologies to sell their wares without giving a hoot to the adverse effect such machines could cause to human health: High levels of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH).

“The consultants from the United States, processors have created branded packaging for filleted and whole smoked fish. The packages have barcodes that enhance competitiveness and protection while establishing corporate identity in the market,” reported a Nigerian broadsheet.

Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, said, “We are pleased to see that with appropriate support and incentives, Nigerian farmers can break through sophisticated markets such as the US market. This is very encouraging and going forward, we would like to see many more examples that will help make the Nigerian Government’s vision of transforming agriculture from subsistence level to a business venture a reality.”

It’s discernible that a pack of 500 grammes of smoked catfish bought from Nigeria at $12.50, sells for between $15 and $20 in the international market, making it what analysts had called, a potentially money-making business.

According to a source: “A study sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, the quantity of dried and smoked catfish, tilapia and other types of fish exported from West Africa to the United Kingdom was estimated at over 500 tonnes per year; with a retail value of nearly $20 million.

“Nigeria alone exports about 5 tonnes of smoked fish per month (via airfreight). Other major exporting countries are Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Senegal and Cameroon. However, with stricter regulations on food imported into the US and Europe, Africans are finding it difficult to exploit the million-dollar foreign market for smoked and dried fish…”

Many stakeholders in the agricultural sector in the country had given their nod to the new development. A member of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Aderemi Giwa was one of the stakeholders.

According to a source, Giwa said: “This new smoking technology, with the support of World Bank through the Commercial Agricultural Development Project, has really moved fish farming in Lagos State to a new and unparalleled dimension…. Farmers can now export directly to the US market, thereby boosting our economy and at the same time increasing the standard of living of Nigerian fish farmers.”

Being supported by the International Development Association (IDA), small and medium scale commercial farmers and agro-processors had been advised to upgrade subsistence agriculture to commercial ventures.  In May 2013, the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO), Lagos, trained 32 entrepreneurs comprising of fish farmers and processors on the use of modern fish smoking technology.

The institute had introduced an industrial fish smoking kiln it manufactured, at the training it held at the Ojo Military Cantonment, which was in collaboration with the Lagos Commercial Agriculture Development Project (CADP).

The quintessence of the training was given as “to prepare these entrepreneurs for the international market as well as highbrow domestic market. The fish smoking kilns introduced were of two types, the big size with a capacity to smoke fish of 200kg to 300kg wet weight and sold for N650, 000 and the medium size to smoke fish of about 60kg to 80kg wet weight and sold for N350, 000.”

In a statement credited to the engineer that conducted the training on how to use the fish smoking kilns, Mr. Felix Ajuebo said that the equipment was designed to last for 30years to 40 years. This, some of the trainees like Tundun Tijani, expressed their readiness to engage in full fish business as the new technology would scale up production.

Still, this business does not come with it without increasing health and bioterrorism concerns, which have led to very severe rules on imported food and animal produce even though that it seemed easy in recent times to send container loads of smoked fish across the seas to the US and Europe.

Before the breakthrough of Nigerian mechanically smoked fish in the international market, “It is important to note that up to 40 percent of smoked fish exported from Africa is detained, returned or destroyed at US and European ports due to simple mistakes such as improper packaging and labeling, inadequate compliance with paperwork, insect infestation and mould growth on the products,” said a source.

Specialists had explained in different forum, saying: Unlike Europe, it is still possible to export commercial quantities of smoked and dried fish to the USA, another huge market for the product. Nonetheless, following the passing of the Bioterrorism Act of 2002, “all facilities that manufacture, process, pack, or store food, beverages, or dietary supplements that may be consumed in the United States by humans or animals are required to be registered with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).”

Conditions were that a potential fish business person had to register to include: An inspection of the facility where the dried and smoked fish is produced. According to sources, companies located outside the United States, must choose a US Agent who will be responsible for communicating with the FDA and handle any necessary paperwork.

Having a Certificate of Registration assures customers and suppliers that you have complied with all FDA regulations. There were the European Union (EU) regulations, which banned all ‘commercial’ shipments of smoked fish from Africa (and other non-EU countries) from inflowing the EU region, therefore constraining the traditional way of smoking fish, which is gradually belonging to history.

The resultant of this was that the policies drastically reduced the quantity of smoked fish that could be exported to Europe. Even though that ‘personal’ export was allowed, it was done in small quantities of smoked fish, given as not more than 20kg in total weight. The directive was seemingly intended to avert across-the-board export of smoked fish to Europe, except for ‘Personal export’, which includes deliveries that are 20kg (or less) and may be carried as hand luggage, while travelling.

A source reported, “It can also be sent (by mail or freight) directly to private addresses and named individuals in the EU for personal consumption only. Any exports to registered businesses in the EU or export quantities beyond the 20kg limit will not be allowed and will be seized and/or destroyed at EU ports. This new policy has essentially killed smoked fish wholesale businesses in Europe who are presently unable to legally import commercial quantities of these products into the EU…”

Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Tel: +2348032552855

Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com


Complicities in Nigeria’s .ng domain name

By Odimegwu Onwumere


The Federal Government had given states and local governments as well as Millennium Development Agencies (MDAs) in Nigeria, August 2014, as deadline to switch to Nigeria’s .ng domain name.


The President, executive board, Nigeria internet Registration Association (NiRA), Mrs. Mary Uduma explained that the directive was in a bid to protect state machineries from intentional and unintentional abuse; so, NiRA came up with the deadline for state governments, ministries and parastatals as well as local governments in the country.

 mary uduma

(Mary Uduma)

Uduma believed that the Nigeria’s .ng domain name provides good visibility and progress for business in Nigeria and across the world. She, therefore, asked business people and individuals to bring their businesses and theirselves online by blogging on .ng.


Talking at a conference, she said that many people are making money on .com.ng. In her account, some are making as much as N100, 000 every day on .com.ng. She, nonetheless, urged people to bring their businesses online, because the more they blog on .ng, the more their progress.


She urged Nigerians to know that .ng is their identity on the cyberspace. In her estimation, from less than 50 sites at launch in 2013, records have shown that NiRA now has over 250 sites deployed on the services .gov.ng site, with over 100,000 .gov.ng e-mail addresses for government officials opened.


Mrs. Omobola Johnson, Nigeria’s Minister of Communication Technology, at a conference in Abuja, the seat of power, said: Internet can contribute up to 300 billion dollars to Africa’s GDP by 2025; and this is from an estimated 18 billion dollars in 2013.


All the same, the man formerly at the helm-of-affairs of the Information Technology Association of Nigeria, ITAN, Dr. Jimson Olufuye, was not happy with what he described as the low acceptance of the Nigeria’s internet domain name, .ng.


The Former President of the ITAN said in a testimony that the low turnout is necessitated by non-challant of the authorities on policy formation. Olufuye added that with the population of Nigeria within the range of 170m that she was yet to swagger of having about 40, 000 people on the domain’s registration database.


Contrarily, that was against the Federal Government’s awareness of the internet that in collaboration with UNESCO, it launched the first internet link in Nigeria at the Obafemi Awolowo University in 1995, using Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT).


Although, in May 2014, Uduma had said that the NiRA started in 2009 and had only 2,000 domain names then. This was after she mounted the saddle in September 2010, having served as vice-president of the body in 2009. In her enlightenment, the body had not only raised funds, but, also, the domain names, of which the users were barely at 2, 000, and has grown to about 60, 000. This, she added, was achieved through understanding and interests in the scheme, especially by the government.


But to Olufuye in a broadsheet account in October 2014: .ng domain name is not yet having the desired impact on the economy. This was not limited to this single impact, there were other factors impacting on the low awareness, like policy framework, strategy, marketing and popularization of the domain name, Olufuye said.


Olufuye added that: What NiRA must do is to give the assurance that it will remain available, because that is what is required 24/7. That is why you do not see banks going for .ng for their critical cloud infrastructure. It needs specific interventions to ensure a good uptake of domain name.


Uduma, however, had earlier explained the reason it was as if Nigerians do not go for the .ng domain name adoption. According to her, Nigerians prefer foreign domain names and churlish made in Nigeria goods, even though that the body has made the registration very easy that within 24 hours, one can get his or her registration done.


In her account, “On our part, we have gone to the extent of easing the registration periods; such that within 24 hours you can get done with your registration. It is just like .com, but people are still looking as: What is that?


“However, we are making breakthroughs, especially with the Federal and State Governments (through the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on our side by saying they must be on .gov.ng, every other business person would like to follow-suit.


“We have at various occasions highlighted the important of .ng; a Nigeria’s Code Top Level domain name, an Internet top-level domain generally used or reserved for Nigeria only. General, the awareness level is still low; that is why we are eager to educate, inform and mobilize the people.


“It was as a result of our advocacy that even the government thought of embracing .gov.ng. We are committed to work with the registrars; they are our partners and channels to achieve this.”


Economic Development

Ifeanyi Nwoko, a public affairs analyst on July 19 2014, expressed shock that many African countries, Nigeria included, are yet to tap into the potentialities that internet proliferates. This was not even as he explicated that the United States generates 600 million dollars per annum from its domain name industry.


In the words of Nwoko, “According to Google’s annual income statement, it generated 23.6 billion dollars in 2009, which translated to 1.9 billion dollars a month. Similarly, the .com, .uk, .us, and many other domain names in the western world have made huge profits from their domain names; while some domain names have been sold as high as 13 million dollars.”


Investigation has revealed that about 3.76 bil­lion naira was lost by Nigeria, due to poor domain name. A source accounted that this was due to the procurement of for­eign domain names such as .com, .co​.uk, .org and .net by Nigerian investors in the last five years. The source said, “The fig­ure is expected to be more than dou­ble in another five years if the trend is not checked given the increas­ing level of Inter­net aware­ness and usage in the country.”


600,000 reg­is­tered for­eign domain names in the country

Reportedly, Mr. Ope Odunsa, Chief Oper­at­ing Offi­cer of Nige­ria Inter­net Reg­is­tra­tion Asso­ci­a­tion (NiRA) con­firmed that over 752 mil­lion naira is paid annu­ally by Nige­ri­ans to overhaul the esti­mated 600,000 reg­is­tered for­eign domain names in the country, and that it costs about 5,000 naira to pur­chase a domain name.


Evidence has shown that most gov­ern­ment offi­cials and businessmen and women have their elec­tronic mail chosen at for­eign domains like Yahoo!, Google, and etcetera. According to a resource, “The Min­is­ter of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Tech­nol­ogy, Mrs. Omobola John­son, had recently con­firmed that out of the 54,000 indige­nous email accounts cre­ated for gov­ern­ment offi­cials in the fed­eral min­istries, depart­ments and agen­cies, only four per cent were in use.”


In another setting, it was observed that only 26,000 domain names were reg­is­tered with NiRA at the end of 2013, as against the claim by Uduma that the country now could boast of about 60, 000 users and, that free Nigerian domain names would be offered to interested citizens in the second quarter of 2014.



Nwoko had affirmed that 38 internet service providers were licensed by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to sell internet services in Nigeria; and Linkserve Limited instantly began commercial operations in the country.


Upon that, “In 2010, Nelson Mattos, Vice President (Technology) of Google said at a briefing in Lagos, that Nigeria had an IT infrastructure problem in terms of availability and accessibility.


“He said that the entire African continent could never become market potential for internet-broadband access due to poor internet infrastructure and penetration,” reported Nwoko.


The account further said: Uduma said the nation still loses billions to the internet economy, stressing that over $600million was made by the U.S. through the domain name industry, internet businesses have been growing so much and other countries have been taking advantage of it.


According to her: “Our internet economy and e-commerce have not started; our Domain Name System (DNS) industry is still at the lowest ebb; Internet access is a challenge, so for that reason we are losing a lot of money which we would have retained…


“Let me give you a statistics; if there are 1,000 registered domain names in Nigeria, only 10 will be on .ng, 990 will be on .com and if they all pay N1,000 that is one million naira.


“So while 990,000 naira will go abroad, only 10,000 naira will be in Nigeria, so we are losing money because people are not taking the .ng as their domain name.


“What we are doing is that we are sensitising Nigerians that just as naira is our currency, .ng is our currency on the cyberspace; we should take .ng as our string on the cyberspace instead of using .com or .uk.


“We are working with National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to make sure there is intervention for people to be online as soon as they take the .ng domain name.”


17,000,000 Small and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria

Nwoko whispered that Uduma said there were 17,000,000 Small and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria that could take advantage of the mutual benefit of the .ng domain to do their businesses online with ease and speed.


According to him, Uduma had encouraged businessmen and women to register on the .ng domain name, because the domain is even safer than other domains, adding “with .ng, fraud is made more difficult as it is traceable.”


In Uduma’s voice, “Even to scam with .ng is very difficult, because we would be able to know the person that registered the domain name. Others do proxy, but we don’t do proxy in Nigeria. We know who is registering what; the registry is here with us. We are hoping that by 2020 we would have hit one million users of the .ng domain name.”


Price of the .ng domain name

In May 2013, the NiRA made a sudden change of mind in the sales of its country code top-level domain name (ccTLD) popularly known as the .ng domain name.


The .ng domain name, which is a second level domain name, it was noted that the NiRA was selling it for N500, 000 per year, but has decided to lessen the price to N15, 000 per year. Revelations showed that the sudden change in mind was due to low patronage of the .ng domain name from Nigerians.


According to the Chief Operating Officer of NiRA, Mr. Ope Odusan who disclosed the information, said, “Based on this, and coupled with the low response from buyers, NiRA decided to review the price downwards from N500, 000 per year to N15, 000 per year.”


He further added that, “From our statistics, only 32 .ng domain names were sold in three years, and 30 out of the 32, were bought by foreigners doing business outside Nigeria, while only two were bought by Nigerian residents: THISDAY Newspapers and MTN Nigeria.”


Foreigners petronise the .ng than Nigerians

According to a rag account, Odusan said that foreigners bought over the .ng domain names more than Nigerians. The source said, “This was because majority of Nigerians could not afford it, and due to that, the scenario was not good enough for the country’s ccTLD…. within five days after the price was slashed, NiRA registered over 300 .ng domain names.”


He added, “This is a major shift and the number of purchase is on the increase. We call it a second level domain name but it is actually a country code Top Level Domain name… NiRA had so far sold over 30, 000 domain names from the 9, 000 sold as at 2010.”


However, observers said that even the N15,00 was too expensive, because the .ng domain name should not be more than N5, 000 per annum. “The .org, .com and .net LD go for between N1, 000 to less than N5, 000,” said an observer. “In fact, Mali is giving its tld out free. It is appalling that actually Nigeria initially fixed the amount for N500, 000…”


Feats by NiRA

Uduma had said in an account that NiRA recorded some milestones even in 2013, against speculations, and that registration grew by over 50 per cent in 2013 from what it was in 2012. According to her, NiRA is targeting more growth in registration, renewal and even new businesses.


She added, “In 2012, we registered only 10, 000 domain names but in 2013, we had over 16, 000. Let me break down the new registration and renewal figures for you. For new registration, last year, 913 were registered in January, 801 in February, 980 in March, 3, 609 in April, 1,788 in May and 1,406 in June. In July, August, September and October, 1,242; 1,188; 1,263 and 1,299 .ng domain names were registered while 1239 and 1253 were registered in November and December respectively.


“If you add all these, you will get about 16, 981 domain names registered. However, 472 were renewed in January; 587 in February; 555 in March; 573 in April; 442 in May and 706 in June. Also, 646 were renewed in July; 750 in August; 537 in September; 777 in October; 614 in November and 912 in December, last year and the total of this will give you 7, 571. So, Nigeria’s internet domain adoption and usage is gaining traction and we are committed to working with our registrars; they are our partners and channels, to achieve more progress in this regard.”


Nigerians encouraged to use, .ng domain name

Odusan had encouraged Nigerians to take opportunity of the slash in the .ng domain name to register their business names with the suffix, .ng, so that the world to see and believe in the Nigerian dream.


In his account, “We are creating awareness to let people know that .ng is faster and cheaper, and that it is affordable. People experience delay in connectivity when servers that accommodate contents are hosted outside Nigeria, while contents are generated in Nigeria.


“It takes extra time for information generated in Nigeria to go outside the shores of the country to places like US and UK, to hit the servers that are hosted there, before returning to Nigeria to deliver the message.


“But if the server is hosted in Nigeria, and contents are hosted in Nigeria, information does not need to travel long distances before they are eventually delivered in Nigeria, and this reduces time of transaction to a great extent.


“We are taking the campaign to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), big corporations, churches, mosques, and market places to make people have better ideas of .ng domain name.”


Uduma reiterated that the value of using .ng to individuals, businesses and governments is huge. According to her: “In the first place, the local content policy of Federal Government starts with .ng; so, if you are a Nigerian and you want to promote the local content, you should be on .ng registry, because that is the first thing.


“Secondly, the policy of the federal government is also promoting local content for businesses to be online and preferably on .ng. The more people find a business online these days, the better it is for the business owner and that is even where the world is going: e-commerce.”



Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Tel: +2348032552855

Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com


Words Mean More Than What Is Set On Paper…

By Odimegwu Onwumere


A child is engaged with words than reading and this comes even with the child’s first days in school. Processing the child’s thoughts and actions in communication analysis are at most times difficult. Parents and teachers will require the voice skill to properly convey some inbuilt message so that the child can understand instructions, respond and grow up. This is the reason why politicians in Nigeria unlike in the West particularly do not send letters to persuade the electorates during electioneering. Nigerian politicians use speech to address their political spectators and followers in order to make them come to terms with the intrinsic meanings of their political message. Even when they possibly send letters across, they still follow up to digest the content of their missive with oratorical skill or voice. Else, they will not be taken seriously.


Maya Angelou was an American author and poet born on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri. She died on May 28, 2014, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in the United States. She was credited with the phraseology: Words mean more than what is set on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning. She was right in noting that voice communication has the effectiveness for clarity than written words, because there is always room for explanation by the speaker. The importance of human voice in communication has been seen to be more important to written communication.


Some organisations like the Museum of the Word, which is set on the first route of Don Quixote International, saw this importance and set aside every 23rd November each year, as the Day of the Word. The Word here is regarded as a Bond of Humankind. Complimenting this capturing and symbolic representation of the sense of words, one Barbara Walters had admonished humanity about the importance of voice-words that we live with. Walters said: Many people think that polysyllables are a sign of intelligence. It takes the voice to explain every bit of word written or said. One may read written words without comprehending what has been read in line with the writer’s view point or sense. But with voice, it will be more explicit as questions will be asked and interactions made to explain the embodied meanings.


In the good words of one Jean Baptiste Girard, people are meant to know that, by words they excavate, fix the word puzzles and learn thoughts. And by gaining insights on thoughts they learn life. In addition, using colours to form knowledge and meaning, one Edward Thorndike did sum up what Girard had said: Colors fade, temples crumble, empires fall, but wise words endure. Even in some religions, the power in voice-words is essentially recognized. The Christian Bible in the book of Luke 6:45 said: The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. From this biblical capturing of words, we can understand that words are used as a mechanism of expression, flowing from the heart. Words are mirrors of the inner heart. A cultural heart is framed on the language and dialectics of symbols of a group’s way of communication.


Somebody like J. B. Phillips saw the deeper side of voice in communication and consequently said that “If words are to enter men’s minds and bear fruit they must be the right words shaped cunningly to pass men’s defences and explode silently and effectually within their minds.” In one of Tomasz P. Szynalski’s treatises, the writer although believed the obvious in ‘Reading is easier than listening’, yet had this to say: The only real way to learn to understand fast or accented speech is to spend a lot of time listening to many different speakers. This is why a child who is new to school learns through voice before learning how to read. Words open the listening and communicational orifices of humans to learn.


Maya Angelou was right with her philosophy associated with words and learning. Many scholars like Vincent Ferraro and Kathryn C. Palmer of Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA would say that for any person to understand communication better, that person must be dynamic with human orifices. And this is what the oral communication represents, unlike the static aspect which written communication represents. While the scholars believe that there is “a higher level of immediacy and a lower level of retention in the spoken words” they however did not betray the fact by accepting that a speaker has more aptitude to connect with the listener expressively. The argument is contained in the “Differences Between Oral and Written Communication”. Showing Maya Angelou to be right with her view point, her knowledge and expression contenders even wrote that the written language can be significantly more precise, which invariably means that it does not water the quest of the learner to understand more in an understandable approach where there may be questions to ask and answers to be derived. In the modern scientific information on dyslexia, learning difficulties, and developmental disorders in everyday language, one would notice that using oral-IQ and processing tests in the diagnosis of dyslexia and other learning difficulties, have been said to be the best.


Linguistic and language specialists had given this point of view as it is above in ‘Understanding words, behavior, and concepts’. Here, it was shown that a newborn is a fast learner not by the text he or she reads, but by the voice of the parents, even though that the newborn does not fully understand what the parents are saying. The wrangle of this position is that linguists have shown through research that even while in the womb, babies start listening to their parents’ voices, not reading their parents written words. The source of this insight further stated that: Once born, your baby begins tuning in to your words and sentence patterns to figure out what you are saying and instructing. The child also uses his or her learning curiosity, sensitivity and powers of observation to learn about some of the more complicated things – such as love, trust, time, and cause and effect – that exist in his or her physical and emotional world and cultures.


It is imperative to know that in voice communication people learn well than when they are reading. Professionals would say that even when listeners do not understand what the speaker was talking about, there is every tendency that the listener might learn and pick certain aspects of the speaker’s voice style, namely body gestures and moods such as happiness, sadness, love, concern, anxiety, and anger; unlike when they are reading. Connoisseurs also had shown that using voice sends message deeper than written words. They buttress this point by using a baby as a case study. In some estimation, listeners use their senses to take new information about the world around them. Significantly, voice keeps people sensitively adjusted to the people closest to them, than the books closest to them. People respond to the tone of the speaker’s voice, the smile and maybe, the placate of touch. Maya Angelou invariably was saying that through voice, people’s motor skills advance deeper than when they are reading. And she was right!


Odimegwu Onwumere, Poet/Author and Media Consultant, writes from Rivers State. Mobile: +2348032552855. Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com