By Christiana Ekpa
The House of Representatives on Thursday asked the Management of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) and Secured 18 Company Limited to strengthen their internal mechanism with a view to eradicating ticket racketeering.
This was as result of a motion sponsored by Hon Zayyad Ibrahim, APC-Kaduna State, who noted that the increase in passengers has led to fraudulent business dealings in the train station which prompted the Minister of Transportation to officially launch Automated E-Ticketing System to address complaints of ticket racketeering.
The lawmaker stressed that despite the launch of E-Ticketing, Ticket-racketeering has persisted as tickets are sold to customers at exorbitant rate.
“The increase in the number of passengers led to ticket-racketeering, an ugly practice
that led to the arrest of five (5) suspected train ticket racketeers in 2019 by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and on 21 January, 2021.
“The Minister of Transportation officially launched the Automated E-Ticketing System to address complaints of ticket racketeering.
“Ticket racketeering, which the E-Ticketing System sought to eradicate, is still going on
unabated as tickets can no longer be adequately accessed online due to the mischievous activities of some people who racketeer the tickets and resell to passengers at exorbitant prices.
He lamented the incident and said: “If the activities of racketeers are not curbed, passengers will continue to be denied the privilege of accessing the train services as, sometimes, a train may leave the station without carrying the required number of passengers, because the tickets are not accessible or affordable to majority passengers.
Recall that the Abuja-Kaduna train services was officially commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, 26 July 2016 to provide the much needed alternative means of transportation between Abuja and Kaduna.