The federal government has revealed that it would allow more trains to ply the Abuja-Kaduna route, with a target of one train per hour, before the end of the year. Speaking at an event last Thursday, Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Mr Freeborn Okhiria, said this in line with celebrations by Belt and Road Initiative to mark 1000 days of the rail system’s successful operations in Abuja.
Okhiria said the number was being increased in response to complaints from Nigerians.
“People are complaining that we are not providing enough service.
“We are promising them that we will increase the number of trains we run before the end of the year; we should be able to target one train per hour.”
NRC aims to operate at least one train per hour on this popular route
He disclosed that orders had been placed for new coaches different from the ones on ground currently. With an e-ticket system in the works by the federal government, passengers will be relieved the burden of getting tickets for their travels on the platform, he further revealed.
“As we speak, about three companies are in the final stage with ICRC because it is going to involve a lot of money, and we do not have the money to do it.
“We need to have the hardware to make sure we protect our earnings and protect the passengers using the e-ticketing because we have to have a barrier that allows a genuine ticket holder to access the platform and exit the station.”
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He stated that an e-ticket system was necessary to avoid traveling mistakes.
“If we do not put the (proper) system in place electronically, a passenger can buy a ticket to Kubwa and get to Kaduna if care is not taken. So we have to consider all that, and it is being developed.”
Hope we will no longer see this scenario when the plan is put into practice
He stated that the e-ticket system would be created in line with current trends in technology.
“We are planning a situation where with an ATM card, you would not need a ticket. We are looking at tomorrow not just today.” Representing Mr Sabiu Zakari, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Mr Mohammed Babakobi, Director Rail Transport Service reiterated that the Federal Government was almost done with securing the e-ticket system.
“For the ticketing, a number of proposals had come before now but they have to go through the due process, so you can achieve a situation whereby you can sit in your house and buy tickets,” he stated.