E-ticketing will end racketeering at train stations – Amaechi


The Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi has assured that the electronic ticketing solution being proposed for the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) will take effect soon.

He stated this in response to widespread complaints of alleged ticket hoarding and racketeering by passengers on the Abuja-Kaduna train service. Many passengers complain on a daily basis about ticket racketeering on the train service.

As part of measures to stop the alleged racketeering and improve the efficiency of train services across the country, the NRC has introduced the e-ticketing solutions which would enable people to book for seat on the train online.
According to the NRC, the solution being proposed would also decentralise the ticketing system to enable more small and medium enterprises participate in sales of tickets as the railway modernisation takes centre stage across the country.
The process started in August 2017 when the NRC advertised for companies to apply for the ticketing contract following which over 1000 companies applied.

However, more than two years after, it has been bogged down by bureaucracy as passengers agitate for the swift implementation of the system to at least, minimise to the barest minimum, if not completely eliminate the alleged racketeering in the train service.

It is reported that the NRC had almost completed the process internally when the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) stopped the process, saying it was not carried along in the proposed public private partnership (PPP) arrangement.

The NRC bowed to the commission and after adding its input, the ICRC in September 2019 gave its nod to the proposal after which the minister of Transportation transmitted it to the Federal Executive Council which would give the final approval.

It was not clear when the proposal would receive the imprimatur of FEC as complaints grow from passengers over the difficulty in getting tickets on the Abuja-Kaduna train service.

Amaechi, while responding to a complaint by a Twitter user on his handle, assured members of the public that the automation and e-ticketing system would commence soon. “We are aware of the issues and have heard all your complaints about ticketing on the Abuja-Kaduna rail line.

We are already working on automation and online ticketing. Please be patient with us as we try to fix this, ASAP,” Amaechi wrote.

Reacting to the minister’s comment, many of his followers urged the federal government to fast-track the process. They specifically want government to ensure the e-ticketing is in place before the commercialisation of the Lagos-Ibadan train which is currently being test-run with free train service.