Reps to investigate alleged ticket racketeering at Abuja-Kaduna rail stations

House Representatives has resolved to investigate alleged ticket racketeering by operators Abuja and Kaduna railway stations.

resolution was sequel to a unanimous adoption a motion by Rep. Zayyad Ibrahim (APC – Kaduna) at plenary, on Tuesday.

Moving motion earlier, Ibrahim recalled that Abuja-Kaduna train services was officially commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari on 26 July 2016, to provide an alternative to road transportation area.

He said that there had been a tremendous increase passengers at Idu and Kubwa stations Abuja, as well as at Rigasa Kaduna, due to increased patronage following security challenges on the Abuja and Kaduna Expressway.

The lawmaker said that the increase passengers had led to ticket-racketeering, an ugly practice that led to the arrest five suspects 2019 by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

“On 21 January, 2021, the Minister of Transportation officially launched the automated e-Ticketing System to address complaints of ticket racketeering operated by Secured 18 Company Limited, a private firm, under a Public-Private-Partnership with the Federal Government for N900million, which the concessionaire is to pay back in 10 years.

“The e-Ticketing System for the Abuja-Kaduna train services enabled commuters to book tickets online, thus curbing ticket racketeering and the stress of purchasing tickets at the train stations.

“Concerned that ticket racketeering, which the e-Ticketing System sought to eradicate, is still going on unabated, as tickets can no longer be adequately accessed online due to the mischievous activities of some people, buy wholesale tickets and resell to passengers at exorbitant prices.

“Taking cognisant of the fact that if the activities of racketeers are not curbed, passengers will continue to be denied the privilege of accessing the train services as, sometimes, a train may leave the station without carrying the required number of passengers, because the tickets are not accessible affordable to majority of passengers,’’ he said.

The House urged the management of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to strengthen their internal mechanisms with a view to eradicating ticket racketeering.

In his ruling, the Speaker of the House, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila mandated the Committee on Transport to investigate the matter and report back within weeks for further action. (NAN)