ABUJA, NIGERIA. Nigeria’s Minister of Transport, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi has directed that every prospective train passenger must present identity cards before obtaining tickets at ticket sales points. He reportedly said that the each passenger on presentation of ID card will be issued a ticket with his or her name boldly written to forestall the possibility of transferring tickets to the highest bidders which has been revealed to be the practice in recent times.
Rotimi Amaechi said this was as a result of complaints of passengers on hoarding of first class tickets by some officials Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) and transfer of tickets from one passenger to another by passengers at Idu and Rigassa Railway Stations along the Abuja to Kaduna Railway Line,
Director of operations and acting managing director of the Corporation, Mr. Niyi Alli who dropped this hint recently in Lagos appealed to passengers wishing to enter the Kaduna to Abuja passenger train to obtain ID cards as passengers who don’t have it would no longer be allowed to board the train based on the directive from Nigeria’s Minister of Transport, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi.
Rotimi Amaechi also said that some staff of NRC allegedly involved in hoarding first class tickets, have been redeployed while some senior staff have been posted to Idu and Rigassa to ensure full compliance with the directive.
The minister, Rotimi Amaechi, posited that currently NRC is planning to boost its frequency, as the Federal Executive Council has approved the importation of Seven Coaches to boost transit of passengers in the Kaduna to Abuja axis. He was quite optimistic that by the time the Coaches arrive before the end of this year the pressure on the existing stock of Coaches will be reduced.
Regarding the narrow railway line, the minister pointed out that the corporation short and long term plan is to revitalize the corporation. According to him part of the short term plan is the in-house refurbishing programme aimed at refurbishing the existing coaches and wagons in the fleet of Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) while the long term plan entails the concession of the corporation to General Electric, GE so as to enhance importation of additional rolling stocks.
Photo: Passengers in Nigerian train
The Nigerian government’s reaction follows reports that Some passengers were spotted sitting on the floor and armrests during a train ride from Kaduna to Abuja. According to Ifeanyi Charles Nwoko who shared this, the passengers were subjected to this because the train officials hoard the tickets to sell in the black market. Read what he shared below;
“Kaduna to Abuja on train. People sitting on the floor and armrests but the first class is empty because officials hoard the ticket to sell in the black market. This is how we would destroy this infrastructure with our own hands then turn around and blame govt or say Jonathan didn’t build it well. I hope the visit of the minister would have put and end to this nonsense.”