Hawkers dare NRC over prohibition of trading inside train

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By Seun Ibiyemi

Hawkers have defied the management of Nigerian Railway Corpo-ration (NRC) warning of not selling goods inside railway coaches.

Findings by Nigerian NewsDirect recently revealed that hawkers transact business from train plying Kajola and Ijoko terminals in Ogun State to Iddo terminal in Lagos State on daily basis despite the Corporation’s prohibition.

Our correspondent gathered that hawkers frequently sell recharge cards, drugs, snacks, sachet water, among others inside Mass Transit Train (MTT)  in the morning and evening when the train is moving from Iddo to ijoko.

As stipulated by the NRC act PART XI-Carriage of goods Number 61 on hawking and touting stated that “A person shall not, unless expressly authorised in writing by the general manager so to do, in or upon a railway vehicle or railway premises- (a) hawk, sell, hire, or offer or expose for sale or for hire any article or goods; or (b) tout, ply for, or solicit custom, hire or employment.

Responding, Regional Director Manager, NRC, Engineer Jerry Oche said that “we have some registered hawkers on the train and of course is not that we do not have cases of those who are not registered coming in.

“What we do from time to time is to arrest them because you are not supposed to hawk inside the train without a permit.”

Jerry added that security officers would go after defaulters.

However, a passenger, Shodehinde Dapo, explained to our correspondent that some of the hawkers are passengers that board railway from Ijoko to Lagos in a bid to sell their goods.

According to him “I use to board the train from Ijoko everyday and these hawkers are always there to disturb people’s peace in the railway by advertizing the drugs, snacks or whichever goods they sell. But just because they are regular customers, we don’t know what to say and the checker won’t say anything”.

Also, Babatunde Femi, who is a regular passenger in one of coaches told Nigerian NewsDirect that some of this hawkers are always causing nuisance inside the train, they are always shouting and disturbing passengers’ peace.

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