Prior to independence, the provision of telecommunications
facilities in this country was restricted mainly to government businesses, for
enforcement of law and order and administration of the country together with a
few ones of commercial and industrial purposes. The telephone network consisted
of about 121 (one hundred and twenty one) telephone exchanges of which 116 (one
hundred and sixteen) were magnetic/manual telephone exchange and the remaining
5 (five) were automatic, located at Lagos Island Ikeja Ebute-Matta, Apapa and
Port-Harcourt. The total number of telephone lines in 1960 was 18,724 (eighteen
thousand, seven hundred and twenty four) with a population of about 45 million
in the country representing a telephone density of 0.4 telephone per 1000 population.
After independence, the need for telephone facilities was no longer restricted
to government functionaries as the development of trade, commerce industries
and private enterprises commenced at a fast rate and these required efficient
However, the government realizing this, appointed a team of
experts from overseas, to carry out along-term telephone study of the country’s
future requirement. The report of the experts recommended a fiver year
development plan (1963-1968) to provide the following facilities:
(a) Building of a new long distance radio route
connecting Lagos, Ibadan, Benin, Enugu and Port-Harcourt.
(b) Provision of large capacity cross bar exchanges
at Lagos mainland (7000 lines), Ikeja conduct, 298 concrete conduct or feet
cable wire for local subscribers network, exchange buildings with associated
air conditioning plants.
(c) Construction of radio routes to link 23 urban
centres including Ibadan, Kaduna, Sokoto, kano, Jos, Maiduguri, Warri and
(d) Installation of new telephone exchanges at 5
(five) urban centres and 19 tones together with associated subscriber cable
(e) Expansion of the existing step by step switching
equipment 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.
Under this plan, a total number of 100,000 telephones were to be
installed besides other improvements listed above. Due to nation’s crisis
(1966-1969), the implementation of the programme was largely interrupted and
in-fact completely suspended in the Eastern sector of the country. As such
20,000 lines only were added up to 1966. At the end of Nigeria civil war, the
status of first years P and T plan (1963-1968) was reviewed and the second
National Development plan (1970-1974) was launched in 1970. It was then decided
by the government to improve the existing telecommunications facilities by
marginal investment in major urban and industrial areas, gradually extend
telephone facilities to rural areas where they were non-existent and restore
communication system in war affected areas. The second National Development as
such consisted of
- Spillover of projects in the first five years
- Cable work in areas omitted during planning
stages of the first five year plan construction of 73 new automatic exchanges
with a capacity of about 72,000 lines.
- Expansion of cable network associated with new
- Construction of few radios telephone links.
- Provision of coaxial cable, Lagos, Ibadan,
Illorin and Kaduna. Due to financial constraints and other factors, projects
under the second National plan were not executed during the plan period and a
number of these projects were carried forward for implementation under the
third National plan 91975-1980). In 1974, the total number of working
subscribers’ lines in the country was approximately 52,000.
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
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.
SHORT TERM PLAN
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.
EXCHANGE: the plan
provide installation and commissioning of 45 NITEL telephone exchanges and 33
mobile exchanges with modern cross bar switches either as replacement of worn
equipment or as expansion of the existing system.
(b) LOCAL CABLE
NETWORK: it was
planned to provide new cable layout at the 44 locations, on cabinet/pillar
system using fully filled cables inducts and also restricting the use of
overhead cables sizes to a minimum of 200 pairs. The cabinet/pillar system
provided the much needed case and flexibility of operation. The jelly in filled
cables prevented ingress of moisture into the cable thereby eliminating the use
of pressurization equipment. The restriction on the use of large size aerial
cable reduced fault liabilities and simplified their maintenance.
Rehabilitation of the existing cable network was being undertaken in such areas
where there could be made serviceable.
existing terrestrial microwave system was expanded to provide additional trunk
channels to link the 44 new telephone centres in addition, the existing open
wire system were being replaced by modern radio system this eliminating the
hazards of wire thefts and also improving the availability of reliable truck
service. The plan also builds the much needed security into transmission
network by introducing alternative routes on main trunk routes.
(d) SUPPLY OF
SPARE PARTS: While
efforts a foot to introduce progressive local manufacture of telephone
equipment in use, government had ad-interim, reviewed its policy to extend
guarantee for supply of spare by the supplier of original equipment for a
minimum period of 5 years. This would ensure regular supply of spare parts for
at least the first five years of installation of the equipment when it would be
further reviewed on prevailing condition of local supply.
FACTORS: To minimize
delaying in answering calls and giving up to date information to customers the
operating staff were restrained or the manipulation of the new equipment
installed under the contingency plan. While intensive training of maintenance
was being arranged to the extend feasible with limited availability of
manpower, maintenance assistance service contracts were being awarded to enable
proper maintenance of telecom equipment till local was developed in adequate
In addition to the contingency plan, the ministry of communication
had a long-term plan for improvement of telecommunication facilities throughout
the federation within the context of the Third National Development 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
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 implementation of transmission
projects under the Third National Development programme would provide
sufficient and reliable trunk circuits to meet the anticipated increased volume
of trunk traffic.
Although the terrestrial radio system on microwave would still form
the backbone of the transmission system. Other systems like the coaxial cable,
domestic satellite communication and tethered Aerostats (Ballon system) had
been adopted to meet the planned facilities and bring security into the system
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The federal government of Nigeria has realized the need for
telephone facilities by government functionaries as well as the business
community and individuals. As development in trade, commerce and industry
progressed at a very fast rate, government increased its efforts towards seeing
that customer demands for telephone are met.
In addition to the huge sums of money, government assigned to
(NET) Nigeria External Telecommunication, which is known today as NITEL, it appointed
in 1962 a team of experts from abroad to carry out a study on the country’s
future telecommunication requirements.
This was to ensure the effective and profitable marketing of
telephone services. NITEL does not have the technical and sophisticated
machinery and specialized personnel.
Unfortunately, NITEL has not lived up to expectation of its
numerous customers. NITEL subscribers/customers often complain of “dead lines”,
noisy background, interference etc.
1.3 THE PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
This research is intended
(i) To identify the
causes of complaints from NITEL
(ii) To identify ways of improving the quality of
NITEL services available at affordable price to customers in Enugu metropolis.
(iii) To identify the effect of prices on marketing of
NITEL telephone services.
(iv) To identify how easily available NITEL telephone
(v) To promote NITEL services for customers
(vi) To use the opportunity of this study to make
appropriate recommendations (strategies) for dealing with the noticed lapses.
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
The quality of telephone services rendered by NITEL plc does
not encourage customer’s patronage.
The quality of telephone services rendered by NITEL Plc
encourages customers patronage.
The prices of NITEL telephone services are not attractive to
The prices of NITEL telephone services are attractive to
NITEL telephone services are not readily available to customers (NITEL
NITEL telephone services are readily available to consumers
NITEL telephone services are not effectively promoted for
NITEL telephone services are effectively promoted for
The marketing strategies employed by NITEL plc Enugu do not
increased profitability in its operations.
The marketing strategies employed by NITEL plc Enugu do lead
increased profitability in its operations.
1.5 THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of this study can be appreciated in relation to
the vital role telephone services are expected to play in a developing economy
like Nigeria. The role is a determinant factor for the successful working of
government establishments as well as rapid development of trade, commerce and
industry. It is expected that this study will enable Intel to discover and
tackle its customers’ complaints.
The study will also suggest to NITEL ways to improve the quality
of its telephone services resulting in greater customer patronage.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
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.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Some important terms that are used in this study are hereby
explained as follows:
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
(4) Compressor: machine for compressing air or other gases.
traffic: frequency of
the use of main telephone lines by subscribers.
cable: cables of the
(8) Net: Nigeria external telecommunication
(9) DST: domestic satellite communication
(10) Celluphone: a telephone system that works by radio.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY
For more informations on project materials and more