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E-ticketing delay threatens N22bn revenue on Lagos-Ibadan, Itakpe trains

The delayed deployment of electronic ticketing solutions on the Lagos-Ibadan and Warri-Itakpe Train Services poses a threat to the projected N22bn revenue on the two…

The delayed deployment of electronic ticketing solutions on the Lagos-Ibadan and Warri-Itakpe Train Services poses a threat to the projected N22bn revenue on the two railway corridors, Daily Trust can report.

The Federal Government had, in November 2021, projected to generate N12.4bn and N9.6bn on the newly launched Lagos-Ibadan and Warri-Itakpe train services in the next four years (2021-2025). 

This was shortly after the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission presented the Outline Business Case (OBC) certificate for the proposed electronic ticketing solutions for the two Train Services to the Nigerian Railway Corporation.

The OBC presentation preceded the advertisement, inviting prospective bidders for the design, build, operate and transfer for a secured e-ticketing solution for the Lagos-Ibadan and Warri-Itakpe standard gauge services.

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However, almost two years after the OBC was presented, the e-ticketing is yet to take off amidst daily complaints of ticket racketeering and alleged rip-off of the federal government by ticketing officials. The latest revelation was from a passenger who in a long viral post on various social media channels narrated how some NRC officials were collecting money from passengers who did not obtain tickets prior to the take-off of the train. The passenger revealed in the post how over 60 passengers, including himself, were corralled in a coach where the officials collected money from them without issuing tickets. The Lagos-Ibadan ticket costs N3, 600 and by implication, over N216, 000 must have been collected from the passengers. It was not clear whether the money was remitted to the coffer of the NRC. But following the viral post, the NRC has suspended two staff members involved while “an in-depth investigation” has been commissioned.

However, while the NRC initially said the ticketing solution would be deployed by the end of September which would enable passengers to purchase tickets online while eradicating cash payments, the deployment date has again been shifted to October ending.

This was revealed yesterday by the Deputy Director, Public Relations, NRC, Mahmood Yakub, in a statement announcing the suspension of the two staff.

He urged intending passengers on the Lagos Ibadan train service and other train corridors to insist on boarding ticket(s) after making appropriate payment at the designated stations or book online where applicable. 

Our correspondent reports that the e-ticketing solution had been deployed in Abuja-Kaduna train service.

Yakub said the staff’s misconduct was “a flagrant disobedience to laid down rules and utter  betrayal of the confidence reposed on such workers, especially at this time that the Federal Government is making all efforts at revitalising and modernising the Corporation.”

The Corporation has therefore placed the identified erring officers on immediate suspension pending the outcome of the in-depth investigation already ongoing by the management committee set up to look into the issue.

“Our esteemed passengers and the general public are assured that this unwholesome attitude and image dent to the Corporation by any staff will not be tolerated nor treated with any levity.

“Accordingly, disciplinary proceedings in line with the extant rules citing relevant sections of the NRC General Rules and Public Service Rules will definitely be visited on all those found wanting or connected to this irresponsible act.”

 

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