By Ignatius Ushie
The Federal Government has launched the e-ticketing solution following numerous complaints by commuters on ticket racketeering at the Abuja – Kaduna train Stations. In a statement made available to Transport Day Newspaper in Abuja, the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Ameachi, disclosed during the week at the launch of the e- ticketing online solution held virtually in his office in Abuja that the online ticketing which marks the beginning of automation of ticket sales in all major stations in Abuja- Kaduna train service is in line with global world best practices and will enhance efficiency, save time and promote accountability while also reducing leakages and promoting economic growth.
According to the minister, the e-ticketing solution is a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) valued at N900 million of which the concessionaire (Secure ID) will provide, then run it for 10 years to recoup its investment before reverting ownership to the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC).
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the Governing Board, NRC, Ibrahim Alhassan Musa, said that the e-ticketing solution finally brings to an end the persistent allegations of ticket racketeering at the train stations.
According to the Chief Executive Officer, Secure ID Solutions, Kofo Akinkugbe, the launch heralds the nation’s entry into the new age of multi-model ticketing in public transportation while allowing for passengers convenience, efficiency and accountability for operators and providing data for government for better decision making.
Akinkugbe further stated that the e-ticketing solution after a successful pilot program as of recent, has issued 25,000 tickets online and informed intending commuters on the Abuja – Kaduna rail corridor to access the e-ticketing solution via web by visiting www.nrc.tps.ng. Other avenues are: downloading the application from Google Play Store or Apple Store, POS and cash payments at the counter.
According to her, all solutions offer increased customer experience such as convenient ticket purchase 24 hours a day, seat selection, secure online payments, no physical interaction amongst others.
On his part, the Managing Director, NRC, promised to increase the train shuttle from 8-16 and possibly commence hourly trips.
The online launch was witnessed by members of the Governing Board of NRC and the Director Rail Transport Service, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Engr Mohammed Babakobi, who represented the Permanent Secretary.