By Dirisu Yakubu – Abuja
Following complaints of racketeering and sundry ills by passengers plying the Abuja-Kaduna railway corridor, the federal government, Thursday, launched the e-ticketing solution in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who presided over the virtual exercise, said with the launch, passengers could now procure their tickets online without undergoing the hassle of queuing up for endless hours as was the case in the past.
Amaechi added that the online ticketing which marks the beginning of automation of ticket sales in all major stations along the Abuja- Kaduna rail corridor was in line with global best practices which will enhance efficiency, save time and promote accountability while also reducing leakage and promoting economic growth.
A statement signed by Eric Ojiekwe, Director, Press and Public Affairs, Federal Ministry of Transportation quoted the Minister as saying that the e-ticketing solution is a Public-Private Partnership, PPP, valued at N900 million which the concessionaire ( SecureID) will provide, run for 10 years to recoup its investment before reverting ownership to the Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC.
In his remarks, Chairman of the Governing Board of NRC, Ibrahim Alhassan Musa, said the e-ticketing solution would help in the elimination of racketeering at the sundry train stations along the route.
For Kofo Akinkugbe, Chief Executive Officer, Secure ID Solutions, 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 provide data for the government for better decision making.
Kofo further stated that the e-ticketing solution after a successful pilot program as of today has issued 25,000 tickets online and informed intending commuters on the Abuja – Kaduna rail corridor to assess the e-ticketing solution via web by visiting www.nrc.tps.ng.
Although commuters are expected to take advantage of the online ticketing solution, tickets will still be sold over the counter to cater to those without access to internet services.
According to her, all solutions offer an increased customer experience such as convenient ticket purchase 24 hours a day, seat selection, secure online payments, no physical interaction amongst others.
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, Dr. Magdalene Ajani.