The Nigerian government announced the birth of a new national carrier dubbed Nigerian Air. This is coming years after the failure of Nigerian Airways & Air Nigeria airline. News of the new airline has since sparked controversy as it was unveiled in London, it’s logo designed by a small company in Bahrain, 95% private investors. There’s no station, plane or management in sight yet but all we know is that the country launched a national carrier.
In wake of several controversies following the announcement of Nigerian Air, first, I’ll be giving my two cents on the logo.
“Buy Nigeria to grow the Naira” is what they preach but how do you launch Nigerian Air and outsource the logo to another country for a whooping $600k = N200m when there are a truckload of Nigerians who’d do even better while the money still retained in Nigeria. The government’s nonchalance towards coming out to address or refute the claim further tells how alarming their negligence towards the masses have become. A team should’ve been set up to address/rebuff certain claims before the noisy launch. Silence is no resort in trying to build confidence.
They turned the masses into mere concentrators whose cries and comments don’t matter. Responsibility and accountability is like demanding too much from the so called democratic government. So much for media propaganda to win the next election and so little result from the last rule, got me wondering what they think of the masses.
I’m still befuddled as to how it’s a national carrier yet the government has just about 5% interest and no say in its modus operandi, though quite excusable from a capitalist approach.
This strikes me like a sham being orchestrated for the 2019 election simply because the government are in dire thirst to boast of a project it initiated and executed to entice gullible Nigerians to enable them win the 2019 election, political gimmicks it is!
You’d also agree with me that for the logo to be outsourced to a company in Bahrain, just may, be one of the politicians might be an owner of the company. This is one time to get the youths actively involved in national matters but they screwed it.
The crux of this article is talking yet another way the government have exhibited incompetence. Thing is, the government made a noisy launch about a national carrier but failed to secure its online space as it’s mandatory for every business or venture to secure an online space hence acquiring the domain name which should be the name of the business for easy accessibility.
The government came short on this necessity of securing an online space for Nigerian Air
and a Nigerian techie named Mayowa Elegbede
seized the opportunity to register the domain names viz Nigerianair.ng & Nigerianair.com.ng
and putting it up for sale for N24m each.
Contrary to sentiments that he’s struck gold and may become an overnight millionaire, he may just have landed into big trouble. He could’ve escaped it in the early days of the internet but
sadly, not anymore.
In the early days of the internet when business ventures were not yet aware of the gains of the internet, some sharp techies registered the names of popular companies as domain names with the intent of cashing off it by selling the names back to the companies when they needed it.
Companies like Panasonic, Avon even Linda Ikeji were victims of the practice which has since been known as Cybersquatting.
Cybersquatting involves registering, selling or using a domain name of an existing brand with the intent of profiting from the goodwill of someone else’s trademark. This was a problem for the growth and development of the internet as vehicle for business. In 1999, ICANN began implementing the Uniform Domain name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), a policy for resolution of domain name disputes.
ICANN is a non-profit organization in charge of maintaining and coordinating the internet, namely the Internet Protocol (IP) address and the Domain Name System (DNS). Think of them as the Green Lantern corps of the internet.
So ICAAN set up the UDRP, a policy for resolution of domain name disputes. This policy results in an arbitration of the dispute and not litigation. Through this procedure, companies could now get domain names withdrawn from cybersquatters if they proved ownership with concrete evidence.
To establish a matter under the UDRP, the complaint must show similarity of the disputed domain name with a trademark or service mark in which the complaint has rights. Lack of legitimate rights in the domain name by the keeper and use of domain name in bad faith.
So that’s the story of how the harmful trend of cybersquatting was handled by the ICAAN but the UDRP strictly applies to general top level domains like .com, .net, .org etc
The .ng is a Country Code Level Domain CCLD are domains reserved for countries to serve their community. The Nigeria Internet Registration Association NIRA manages Nigeria’s CCLD and it has a Domain Name Policy.
It’s quite easy to cancel Mayowa’s registration of the domain names upon complaint by the federal government. NIRA also has a complaint policy. It’s also possible that Mayowa has committed a crime and may be convicted.
Section 25 of the Cybercrimes Act 2015 clearly lays out Cybersquatting as a crime:
“Cybersquatting is prohibited and is in fact made a criminal offence. Cybersquatting is when someone intentionally takes or use of a name, business name, trademark, domain name or other word or phrase registered, owned or in use by any individual, body corporate or belonging to either the Federal, State or Local Governments in Nigeria, on the internet or any other computer network, without authority or right, and for the purpose of interfering with their use by the owner, registrant or legitimate prior user. Cybersquatters are liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not more than 2 years or a fine of not more than N5,000,000.00 or to both fine and imprisonment.”
It is interesting to note that at the time when the act was passed, making Cybersquatting a crime was a new development and was frowned at. Today, many country adopted this stance.
So unlike it may seem, registering these domain names and immediately putting them up for sale might not be so smart, it may put one in trouble.
In a nutshell, this further details the mess we’re in because while we’re basking in the euphoria of running an airline, those atop the political chain don’t really know what they’re about if not political gimmicks and Nigerian Air may be some mirage just to buy us over with. You’d wonder why this is coming where 2019 election is close.