By Chinedu James
The Nigerian senate website, http://www.senate.gov.ng, has been suspended by its host, Bluehost, a web hosting company owned by Endurance International Group in Provo, Utah, USA.
News of the site’s suspension has since gone viral eliciting comments and a mix of emotions from Nigerians.
President of Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), registrar for the .NG domain, Mr. Sunday Folayan noted in his Facebook post that the senate website http://www.senate.gov.ng may have been suspended by its host either for: “Unpaid bills, which cannot (actually) be more than $2,400; or for violation of the hosts Terms of Service (ToS).”
For many experts, it is both absurd and tragic that the senate would have its website hosted abroad against the standard practice of having it hosted locally by Galaxy Backbone, the government owned data management and hosting companies that provide connectivity and a portfolio of web services for all public sector ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
The implication is that “The Senate of the Federal Republic which had obviously operated under the guise of the domain name .ng, the country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) of Nigeria, for over a decade has exposed its files and contents to external intrusion in a foreign territory. The Nigerian Senate has been effectively locked out of all its contents and all that defined its status as a law making entity in the digital sense,” said one worried expert.
The national embarrassment follows the same trajectory of our lack of national shame,” writes another commentator.