The 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 for the Abuja-Kaduna railway transport.
According to him, 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 was the practice in recent times.
He 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 not be allowed to board the train.
He also said that some staff of Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) allegedly involved in hoarding first class tickets has been redeployed while some senior staffs have been posted to Idu and Rigassa to ensure full compliance with the directive.
The minister 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 NRC while the long term plan entails the concession of the corporation to General Electric so as to enhance importation of additional rolling stocks.