Many people are credited with bringing the .ng domain home to Nigeria, but Ndukwe Kalu, the pioneer president of the Nigeria Internet Registration Association holds a special place. Today we received the sad news of his death on Tuesday. Very strange and very shocking because we were in touch less than 48 hours ago.
Many things can be said about death, one of which is the suddenness with which it comes. Ndukwe wrote us all two days ago, and some of us replied him in private, not knowing that it would be the last time we will communicate here on earth. Everything changed in less than 24 hours, unexpected, sudden, shocking… for everyone but God. Because he knew.
I have heard a modern-day saint, Josemaría Escrivá tell that God is not a hunter who catches preys unawares; Rather, he is a farmer who only cuts the flowers when they are at their ripest and sweetest. I think this is what happened to Ndukwe. God, who knows everything, called him at the best time.
What can we here do? First, to pray for the repose of his soul. That God may deign to grant him Eternal Rest in His bosom. And then to pray for his loved ones. That God grant them fortitude to bear the loss, and also to grant them the grace to realize that it is His will, and that it behooves us mortals, as painful as it can be, to say with generosity, “May God’s Will be done”.
And for us Nigeria Internet Stakeholders? Among others things, Ndukwe gave his all for the .ng ccTLD. The best we can do by way of a legacy for this great man is to say that “It will work, and work well!” and we shall all play our parts to ensure Nigeria’s continued presence on the Internet.
Many parties played a role in the .ng domain coming home to roost, but Ndukwe Kalu had a special part in it. He guided and guarded, and today, despite the occasional hiccups, the .ng domain is home. May God bless him!
Below is a Press Release by the deputy president Mary Uduma.
PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NIRA President, Engr Ndukwe Kalu, passes on
Lagos. Wednesday 9 September, 2009.
The Nigerian Internet Registration Association (NIRA) regrets to announce the demise of its pioneer President, late Engr Ndukwe Kalu, who died in Lagos yesterday.
According to Vice President, NIRA, Mrs Mary Uduma, with the death of late Engr Kalu, “the country has lost a dedicated ICT professional who dedicated his expertise, resources and short presence with us to the overall growth and development of the information and communication technology (ICT) industry in Nigeria.”
Under the leadership of late Engr Kalu, Nigeria recently recorded the successful full redelegation and local management of Nigeria’s country code top level domain name, the .ng.
“With his passing away, we have lost an irreplaceable individual who was passionately committed to ensuring the growth and development of the Nigerian Internet community and pursued this with zeal to his last day on earth”, added Mrs Uduma.“
For us at NIRA, we were shocked to learn of his demise but have taken comfort in the conviction that it was the way his Maker had willed it. But we remember him for the zeal he has contributed to the activities of NIRA particularly the landmark achievement of full control of Nigeria’s domain name on May 13, 2009 leading to full local management of the registry ”, added Mrs Uduma.
According to the NIRA Vice President, the body will liaise with the family which is expected to announce further burial arrangements in due course. Before his passing on, late Engr. Kalu was into design and installation of various networks for over a decade. Also noteworthy was the fact that Engr. Kalu pioneered IT publications in Nigeria.
This was through the publishing of Nigeria’s first IT magazine called IT WATCH AFRICA in 1994. From there, late Engr. Kalu revolutionized newspaper IT reporting by conceptualizing and commencing the first robust IT section in the Nigerian Newspaper history, tagged InfoTech ThisDay in 1998.He was a member of several professional bodies some of which are Nigeria Society of Engineers, Nigeria Computer society, Nigeria Institute of management, Chartered Institute of Administration, Institute of Data processing and management (IDPM) London, among others.
Late Engr. Kalu also served on various boards some of which are Amsco Telecoms Limited, Amsco Nigeria Limited, Admiral Insurance Company Limited, Pricehouse Communication Limited, Alphastream Solutions Nigeria Limited, among others. He also recently served as a joint committee of the Nigeria Communications Commission and ISPN on developing a suitable regulation for the use of ISM band. In 2004 he was elected as National Vice President of the Internet Service Providers Association of Nigeria (ISPAN).
Also he served on the NCC Industry committee set up to advise on VoIP regulation.Late Engr. Kalu also served on the National Cyber crime Working Group, a body set up by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to fashion out effective legislation and system to fight cybercrime in Nigeria.Engr.
Kalu has recently spearheaded several initiative to improve teledensity and Internet penetration in Nigeria, one of which is Naijawifi, an alliance of Nigerian ISPs set to blanket all of Nigeria with Wi-Fi Internet Access. He was also the Chairman of NCC/Presidential Committee to actualize a sustainable Internet Exchange for Nigeria.