Passengers wishing to travel by train will soon begin to access tickets online.
The Federal Government is expected to rake in at least N16 billion within ten years from the sale of electronic tickets to passengers intending to travel by rail.
Director-General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Engineer Chidi Izuwah, stated this at the presentation of the business scale certificate for the concession of the e-ticketing system to the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, at his office in Abuja on Wednesday, September 4, 2019.
According to Izuwah, the e-ticketing system, which is a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, would bring an end to the chaos experienced at train stations due to limited seats.
“You promised a couple of months that there is a solution to the chaos witnessed at the train stations. We are here today to present the full business certificate for the ticketing solution for NRC,” he said.
“What is interesting is that due to the popularity of rail service under the administration of the President, this transaction is for ten years and over those ten years, the financial model shows that NRC and the federal government will earn over 16billion naira as revenue from the ticketing system. That will provide additional revenue for the government. So basically, we have turned a problem into an opportunity.
“This is a PPP where the Private sector will invest money to develop, deploy and operate an integrated ticketing solution so Nigerians will be able to buy their own tickets the way it is done anywhere in the world.
“The NRC has gone through a procurement process in line with the ICRC Act, a competitive process and a preferred breeder has been identified-secured ID.
“A full business case was developed, due diligence was carried out to verify the technical financial and managerial competence of SECURE ID and her partners to execute this project.
“The next stage is in line with the ACT to present this to the Federal Executive Council, FEC for approval. After FEC’s approval, then you can sign the concession agreement, the project will reach financial close then we can have the execution of this project to the benefit of Nigerians,” he added.
While highlighting the benefits of the e-ticketing system, Izuwah further explained that the objective of the project was to increase revenue generation through the reduction of fraud and also increase passenger fare purchase options
“We also want to increase passenger convenience by introducing the fare dual hub. This will also improve service welfare to passengers and create a wider aisle of fare policies through additional added value because those tickets can also carry adverts and become a substantial part of revenue” he pointed out
While appreciating the director-general, Amaechi noted that he would proceed to Federal Executive Council for immediate approval for the business scale.
He, however, opined that beyond the e-ticketing system, a holistic approach to solving the problems associated with sales ticket would be the buying of Kore coaches and locomotives to meeting the increasing passenger traffic.
“I agree that this is a solution to the madness of what we have in Rigasa Station down to Idu. But the most important solution is the provision of more coaches and locomotives. This will go a long way to reduce the madness because if people can buy their tickets from their offices and homes, they will not be coming to the train station to cause that chaos we are seeing there.
“I just had a meeting with the president today and we agreed that we should approach the Chinese and buy more coaches. The moment we get more coaches, then we will completely eradicate the current madness going on in the different station between Rigasa and Idu,” Amaechi said.