…Report the case to the police- SA to Transport Minister
By Seun Ibiyemi
The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) ticket checkers have turned their daily operations of checking passengers’ ticket to a multibillion naira venture, investigation by Nigerian NewsDirect has revealed.
Findings by Nigerian NewsDirect revealed that the railway ticketers from Agbado terminal in Ogun state regularly collect between N200 to N230 from passengers who fail to purchase ticket from the railway terminal heading toward Iddo in Lagos.
Nigerian NewsDirect learnt that ticket checkers fight passengers that fail to oblige as a source hinted our correspondent that ogas at the Ebute-Meta office always demand returns daily.”
Investigation also revealed that some of the passengers most especially in coach 2, 3, and 5 have formed an association, claiming seat for their fellow members.
Specifically, passengers in coach 3 and 5 going to Iddo terminus are always contributing money that is remitted to the checkers every morning, 7:45am train.
In a swift reaction, the special adviser to the Minister of Transport, Mr. Israel Ibeneme, in a chat with this newspaper, said “when next an investigation is done, please report the case to the police so that they can be prosecuted. Without you doing that the country will go nowhere.”
The Public Relations Officer of the NRC, Mr. Mahmud Yakubu, failed to respond on what the corporation is doing to curb multibillion naira ticket scandal that is rocking the federal government agency.
However, a passenger, Sunday Akinola, explained to our correspondent that some passengers that board railway from Ijoko in Ogun state to Lagos are fond of not paying for ticket at the terminal but they rather give money to ticket checkers.
According to him “I use to enter the train from Ijoko everyday and I do pay the sum of N230 for collection of ticket at the terminal, but haven’t collected the ticket, passengers without ticket will not allow you to sit down most especially in coach 2. But just because they are regular customers paying N150 to the ticket checker, the checker won’t say anything”.
Also, Adekunle Osunfemi who is a regular passenger of coach 5 told Nigerian NewsDirect that some passengers do not bother to collect ticket at the terminal but pay to the ticket checkers and they do it on daily.
“Am always on stand from Ijoko terminal in Ogun State to Ikeja terminal in Lagos before I can have a place to sit down, because when you get to train station early in the morning you will find out that all the spaces will have been occupied with used ticket without nobody sitting.
“When you try removing the used ticket, the so called members of the coach harass you for removing it”.
It is alleged that NRC checkers were given target which they must remit to their boss at the Ebuta-Meta office.
Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that the rail transportation data for second quarter of 2018 reflected that a total of 730,289 passengers travelled via the rail system as against 748,345 passengers recorded in Q1 2018, representing 2.41 drop in Quarter on Quarter performance.
Although, revenue generated from passengers in second quarter of 2018 was put at N435,965,777 as against N413,057,019 in first quarter of 2018.