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Prior to independence, telecommunications services in this nation were mostly provided by government organizations for reasons of enforcing law and order, managing the nation, and a small number of commercial and industrial uses. The telephone network had about 121 (one hundred twenty one) telephone exchanges, of which 116 (one hundred and sixteen) were magnetic/manual exchanges and the remaining 5 (five) were automatic exchanges. These exchanges were situated on Lagos Island, in Ikeja, at Ebute-Matta, in Apapa, and in Port-Harcourt.

With a population of roughly 45 million in 1960, there were 18,724 (eighteen thousand, seven hundred and twenty four) total telephone lines, corresponding to a telephone density of 0.4 per 1000 people. With independence, the need for telephone facilities was no longer limited to government employees because trade, commerce, and private businesses started to flourish quickly and needed effective telephone services.

Yet after understanding this, the administration brought in a group of foreign specialists to conduct a long-term telephone study of the nation’s future needs.

A five-year development plan (1963–1968) was suggested in the experts’ report to provide the following facilities:

(a) Establishing a new radio link over great distances between Lagos, Ibadan, Benin, Enugu, and Port-Harcourt.
(b) Construction of large capacity cross bar exchanges with accompanying air conditioning plants at the mainland of Lagos (7000 lines), Ikeja conduct, and 298 concrete conduct or foot cable wire for local subscribers network.
(c) Building radio channels to connect 23 urban areas, including as Ibadan, Kaduna, Sokoto, Kano, Jos, Maiduguri, Warri, and Calabar.
(d) The installation of new telephone exchanges in 19 tones, five metropolitan centers, and five (five) tones, together with an associated subscriber cable network.
(e) Increasing the capacity of the step-by-step switching equipment already in place at Ibadan, Shogho, Akure, Illorin, Kaduna, Kano, and Jos by a total of about 8,00 lines.
(f) Provision of subscribers’ trunk dialing (S.T.D) at main urban centres.
(g) Construction of landline routes from main urban centres to 110 rural locations and replacement of manual exchanges by low capacity automatic exchanges at these locations.

In addition to the upgrades mentioned above, 100,000 telephones were to be deployed as part of this plan. The Eastern region of the country had a complete suspension of the program’s implementation due to the nation’s crisis (1966–1969). As a result, only 20,000 lines were built up to 1966. After the civil war in Nigeria came to an end, the first P and T plan’s performance from 1963 to 1968 was evaluated, and the second National Development Plan from 1970 to 1974 was put into motion. The government subsequently made the decision to gradually extend telephone lines to rural areas where they were nonexistent, strengthen the current telecommunications infrastructure in key urban and industrial districts, and restore communication systems in war-affected areas. The following National Development as such consisted of:

– Project spillover from the initial five-year plan.
– The installation of cable in regions that were not considered during the first five-year plan’s development phases. 73 new automatic exchanges will be built, each with a capacity of around 72,000 lines.
– Cable network expansion connected to new automatic exchanges.
– The building of a few radiotelephone lines.
– Provision of coaxial cable in Kaduna, Ibadan, Lagos, and Illorin. Projects from the second National plan were carried over for implementation under the third National plan (91975-1980) because of financial limitations and other issues that prevented their completion during the plan period. Around 52,000 active subscriber lines were present across the entire nation in 1974.


Up to 1972, a few telephone coin boxes were installed but these were recovered due to the change into a new decimal coinage system. Attempt was made to modify the coin boxes but without any satisfactory result.


The telephone network was increased from 52,000 lines in 1975 to total of 54,702 lines as at December 1976. In the network, manual telephone services were being provided in 407 locations. This level of services represented a telephone density of one per 1000 population, approximately which was one of the lowest in the world.


The department had in the late 1970’s decided to re-introduce modern public coin telephone instruments throughout the federation for the convenience of the public 3,000 coin telephone instruments were already on order as part of the third National Development Plan these would be progressively installed during the plan period.


In order to correct the sub-standard signaling systems of the existing telephone network and other problems of inadequately and overloading which had rendered telephone service very intolerable, government in 1974 was urged and it accepted to install a new separate system of international standard to cover area in the country being served by the existing equipment and which were then S.T.D services.

In addition, areas in the than 5 eastern states in which telephone service had been interrupted by the civil war were selected for a quick development under a short-term arrangement known as the contingency plan.

This was authorized in March 1975 with a capacity of 76,000 lines. The difficulties of connecting the existing system to new one persisted until July 1976 and because of the difficulties and creation of new states, the capacity of the contingency plan was increased to 167,000 lines. On commissioning of the contingency plan in 1977, the telephone density in the country became approximately 3 per 1000 population.

(a) TELEPHONE EXCHANGE: The plan calls for the installation and commissioning of 45 NITEL telephone exchanges and 33 mobile exchanges with contemporary cross bar switches, either to upgrade an outdated system or to replace worn-out equipment.

(a) LOCAL CABLE NETWORK: A new cable layout was intended to be installed at 44 locations, employing a cabinet/pillar system with fully filled cable inducts and a requirement that the size of overhead cables be at least 200 pairs. The cabinet/pillar system delivered the crucial case and operational flexibility. Jelly-filled cables prevented moisture from penetrating the cable, negating the need for pressurization apparatus. The ban on using large-diameter aerial cables decreased maintenance requirements and fault liabilities in places where it could be made usable, the cable network that was already in place was being repaired.

(c) TRUNK COMMUNICATION: To connect the 44 new telephone centers, the existing terrestrial microwave system was expanded to include more trunk channels. Additionally, the outdated open wire system was replaced with a more modern radio system, removing the risk of wire theft and enhancing the accessibility of dependable truck service. By offering alternate routes on important trunk routes, the strategy also adds the much-needed security to the transmission network.

(d) SUPPLY OF SPARE PARTS: The government has temporarily reviewed its policy to prolong guarantees for the supply of spare parts by the supplier of the telephone equipment while efforts are underway to introduce progressive local manufacture of original equipment for at least five years. This would guarantee a steady supply of replacement components for the system for at least the first five years after installation, at which point the equipment would be again examined in light of the state of the local supply.

(e) HUMAN FACTORS: To reduce delays in returning calls and providing consumers with the most recent information, operating staff members were restrained or prevented from manipulating new equipment put in place as part of the contingency plan. To the extent that it was possible given the minimal labor available, extensive maintenance training was organized. Maintenance assistance service contracts were then offered to facilitate effective maintenance of telecom equipment until sufficient local was created.


The Third National Development Plan was the framework for the ministry of communication’s long-term plan to upgrade telecommunication facilities across the federation in addition to the contingency plan (1975-1980).

New modern telephone exchanges for 147 locations had been contracted and arrangement was in hand to contract for 145 telephone exchanges required. In new local government area on completion, these exchanges should add about 203,000 lines, bringing the telephone networks to a total of about 370,00 lines. Additional 84,000 lines were to be provided by installation of mobile exchanges and interface equipment. The contracts for the new telephone exchanges included switching equipment and the associated subscribers’ cable network.

Between 1978 and 1980, additional 296000 telephone lines were to be connected to the network to bring the total of 750,000 by the end of the Third National Development Programme. This represents to telephone density to 10 per 1000 population. On a long term basis, the department planned to increase the line capacity to 2,500,000 by 1985 and bring Nigeria telephone density to the world average growth rate. The Third National Development Programme’s transmission projects would supply enough trustworthy trunk connections to handle the anticipated increase in trunk traffic.

Even so, the foundation of the transmission system would still be the terrestrial radio network on microwave. To accommodate the projected facilities and add security to the system through duplication, other technologies such coaxial cable, domestic satellite communication, and tethered Aerostats (Ballon system) had been employed.


The Nigerian federal government has acknowledged the demand for telephone services among civil servants, the corporate community, and individuals. Government expanded its efforts to ensure that customer demands for telephones are met as trade, commerce, and industry developed at a very rapid rate.

In 1962, the government commissioned a group of foreign experts to do a research on the nation’s future telecommunication needs in addition to the enormous quantities of money it assigned to (NET) Nigeria External Telecommunication, which is now known as NITEL.

This was done to make sure that telephone services were effectively and profitably marketed. The specialist personnel and high-tech equipment are not available at NITEL.

Sadly, NITEL has fallen short of expectations for their  numerous customers. NITEL subscribers/customers often complain of “dead lines”, noisy background, interference etc.


The purpose of this study is

i. To determine the origins of NITEL complaints
(ii) To find ways to raise the standard of NITEL services offered to clients in the Enugu metropolitan at a reasonable cost.
(iii) To determine how pricing affects the promotion of NITEL telephone services.
(iv) To gauge how readily accessible NITEL telephone services are.
(v) To encourage patronage of NITEL services by consumers.
(vi) To propose relevant recommendations (plans) for addressing the detected gaps using the opportunity provided by this study.


Ho1: NITEL plc’s telephone services are of poor quality, which discourages customers from using them.
H11: NITEL Plc’s high-quality telephone services entice clients to use them.
Ho2: Customers are not attracted to NITEL’s telephone service costs.
(Users of NITEL)
H12: Customers are drawn in by the cost of NITEL’s telephone services.
(Subscribers to NITEL).
Ho3: Customers cannot easily access NITEL telephone services (NITEL subscribers)
H13: Consumers can easily get NITEL telephone services (NITEL)
Ho4: Customers are not successfully advertised to about NITEL telephone services patronage.
NITEL telephone services are successfully marketed to customers, according to HI4. patronage.
Ho5: NITEL plc Enugu’s marketing tactics don’t produce the results that
greater operational profitability.
HI5: The marketing techniques used by NITEL plc  Enugu do lead to
increased profitability in its operations.


In light of the crucial role telephone services are anticipated to play in a developing country like Nigeria, it is possible to understand the significance of this study. The role plays a crucial part in the efficient operation of governmental institutions as well as the quick growth of trade, commerce, and industry. This research is anticipated to help Intel identify and address consumer problems.

The study will also make recommendations to NITEL on how to raise the caliber of its phone services in order to attract more customers.


In tackling the topic “effective strategies for marketing telephone services with particular reference to NITEL operations in Enugu metropolis, subscribers in Enugu were also used as research subjects to supplement and authenticate information supplied by NITEL staff.



Some important terms that are used in this study are hereby explained as follows:

(1)     NITEL subscribers: person paying regular sum of money for the use of telephone lines operated by NITEL

(2)     Cable: strong thick wire

(3)     Cable route: transporting system usually with elevated cable

(4)     Compressor: machine for compressing air or other gases.

(5)     Trunk communication: main telephone line.

(6)     Trunk traffic: frequency of the use of main telephone lines by subscribers.

(7)     Coaxial cable: cables of the same axis.

(8)      Net: Nigeria external telecommunication

(9)      DST: domestic satellite communication

(10)   Celluphone: a telephone system that works by radio.

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