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Concessionaire to run railway e-ticketing for 10 years – Minister

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The just inaugurated railway e-ticketing service will be run by a concessionaire, SecureID Solutions, for 10 years, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said.

He said the online ticketing solution, which marked the beginning of automation of ticket sales in all major railway stations beginning with the Abuja-Kaduna train service, is a public-private partnership introduced to enhance efficiency and promote accountability.

The minister said the service valued at N900 million would be provided by the concessionaire and run for 10 years to enable the private firm to recoup its investment before reverting ownership to the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC).

The Federal Government has launched the e- ticketing solution in Abuja on Thursday following frequent complaints by train passengers bordering on allegations of ticket racketeering at the Abuja-Kaduna train stations.

Amaechi said the online e-ticketing “is in line with global best practice and will enhance efficiency, save time and promote accountability, while also reducing leakage and promoting economic growth.”

The Chairman of the NRC, Ibrahim Musa, said the e-ticketing solution had finally put an end to the persistent allegation of ticket racketeering at the train stations.

The Chief Executive Officer, Secure ID Solutions, Kofo Akinkugbe, said the inauguration of the service would lead to multi-model ticketing in public transportation, while allowing for passenger convenience, efficiency and accountability for operators.

She said the service would provide data for government in making better decisions that would enhance the operations of the country’s railways.

Kofo further stated that the e-ticketing solution after a successful pilot programme that was done last week had issued 25,000 tickets online.

She said the solution offered an increased customer experience such as convenient ticket purchase 24 hours a day, seat selection, secured online payments and no physical interaction.

Managing Director of the NRC, Fidet Okhiria, said the corporation would increase the Abuja-Kaduna train shuttle from eight to 16 and possibly commence hourly trip.

The online launch was witnessed by members of the NRC Governing Board and the Director Rail Transport Service, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Mohammed Babakobi, who represented the Permanent Secretary.

Railway

NRC develops framework for PPP, working with LASG for red line take-off

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Nigerian Railway Corporation has developed a train track access framework to encourage Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in the operation of effective train services in the country, Managing Director of the NRC, Fidet Okhiria, has said.

He also said the NRC had set up a team to work with the Lagos State Government to ensure smooth launch and effective running of the state government’s mass transit train called the Red Line.

He stated this during a press briefing held Wednesday at the NRC’s headquarters, Ebute Meta, Lagos.

He said that the establishment of train track access framework would enable third parties to use the track.

Okhiria said the framework would increase private sector participation and the usage of the trackers.

He said it would also improve inter-state business and passengers would pay lesser amount for carriage of goods from one point to another.

He said, “We have tendered the Train Track Access Framework to the Board of the NRC during our last meeting and we hope that the framework will be approved at the next board meeting.

“We have set up a team to work with the Lagos State Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) to enable them to operate successfully.

“LAMATA had just received wagons for the Red Line and hopefully they will start operation by the first quarter of 2023.”

The state government some days took delivery of Talgo Series 8 trains acquired from Milwaukee for the Red Line with a promise that the first quarter delivery date for the train service remained sacrosant.

Okhiria also said on Wednesday that efforts were being made by the Federal Government to adequately secure trains’ passengers nationwide as well as address other industry issues.

He said the incident of March 28, 2022 impacted not just on the Abuja-Kaduna route but on all the train services nationwide but added that the confidence of Nigerians on train ride as the safest means of transportation was gradually being restored.

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Railway

Train attack: FG loses N531m revenue in five months

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The suspension of the Abuja-Kaduna train service within five months has cost the Nigerian Railway Corporation N531m in revenue loss, the Managing Director of the firm, Fidet Okhiria, has said.

He stated this in Lagos on Wednesday at a quarterly press briefing of the corporation.

He said the amount represented what could have been made through ticket sales for the standard gauge passenger train, which was attacked by terrorists about six months ago.

Since terrorists on March 28 attacked the Abuja-Kaduna train, killing eight people and abducting 62 passengers, it has not resumed operation.

Although many of those held hostage have been released in piecemeal, the Federal Government has said train service would not be restored on the route until all those still in captivity are released and adequate security measures put in place along the corridor.

Okhiria said, “We have lost N531m between March 28 when the train attack happened and August through the expected ticket sales on the suspended Abuja-Kaduna Train Service (AKTS).”

Although the NRC MD said the corporation had restored the damaged rolling stock and fixed the track, the train service would not resume without the safe release of the remaining passengers held hostage.

He said four railway workers were among those still being held captive.

He said, “We believe proper security measures should be put in place. Government has set up a committee to ensure maximum security for both train passengers and facilities during operation.

“The minister (of transportation) is leading the struggle for the safe release of those still in captivity. We could not go with force to ensure noone loses their life.”

Okhiria said the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge train was running four trips daily, just as the other regular train service including Warri-Itakpe line.

“Lagos-Ibadan train service has not stopped running one day. It operates four daily trips. The Itakpe-Warri line runs two trains a day,” he said.

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Railway

Updated: No insurance cover for victims of Abuja-Kaduna train attack – NRC

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Train passengers held captive by terrorists after the attack on Abuja-Kaduna rail will not receive any compensation from insurance company, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, Engr. Fidet Okhiria, has said.

He disclosed this on Wednesday at a press conference in Lagos, explaining that although the corporation had an insurance policy for both rolling stock and train passengers, it did not cover banditry and terrorism.
The terrorists had on March 28, attacked an Abuja-Kaduna-bound passenger train, killing eight people, injuring several others, while 62 of the passengers were abducted.
Many of those held hostage have been released in piecemeal.

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