The Nigerian government, through the Ministry of Transportation led by Rotimi Ameachi, recently launched an e-ticketing solution for Abuja-Kaduna rail line.
According to the minister, the latest development is a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) valued at N900 million.
The said money was provided by SecureID Solution, a private digital firm which also doubles as the concessionaire for the project.
To recoup its investment, SecureID Solution will reportedly take charge of the e-ticketing system for the next 10 years.
Thereafter, it will hand over the ownership to the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC).
When stating the reason for the partnership, NRC mentioned that the new development will address many concerns in the industry.
According to Eric Ojiekwe, a spokesperson for the transportation ministry, one of the several concerns to be addressed is the issue of ticket racketeering.
Other issues like meeting up with travel schedules and leakages in remittance to the federal wallet will also be addressed.
Overall, the new system will enhance efficiency while promoting economic growth in the sector and the whole nation at large.
Optimism builds as both partner shares excitement
Speaking about the newly-introduced initiative, the governing board Chairman for NRC, Mr. Ibrahim Musa reiterated that:
“The e- ticketing solution finally brings to an end the persistent allegations of ticket racketeering at the train Station.”
Similarly, the Chief Executive Officer of SecureID Solution, Kofo Akinkugbe stated that:
“The newly-launched initiative heralds the nation’s entry into the new age of multi-model ticketing in public transportation.”
According to him, this will allow for passengers’ convenience, efficiency, and accountability for operators while providing data for the government for better decision making.
Akinkugbe emphasised some of their early successes which include the issuance of over 25,000 tickets online.
Also, the solution helped inform intending commuters on the Abuja – Kaduna rail corridor to assess the e – ticketing solution via web by visiting www.nrc.tps.ng.
What else to know about the e-ticketing solution
While the e-ticketing solution is still new to many people, below is a compiled list of things you should be aware of:
There is a mobile application
Firstly, Nigerians who intend to make use of the new e-ticketing system can do so via various options, including a website which is the primary one.
Users can also download the application from Google Play store or Apple Store.
In the event that none of the prior options are unreachable, intended commuters can make use of POS and cash payments at the counter.
Being a digital alternative, passengers can easily book their travel slot.
The ease of adoption of the new ticketing system is also evident in the numbers of people that accessed the service in the initial three days of launch.
According to industry source, over 8,000 passengers on the Abuja-Kaduna train service accessed the e-ticketing portal.
Also, unlike the previous system, the new e-ticketing system eliminates possible hurdles or clumsiness that could arise from physical bookings.
In the wake of rapid digitization in Nigeria, the government seems to have realised the importance of data collection.
As such, the initiative is also designed to collect basic database of all passengers boarding the train.
This according to NRC will help significantly during emergencies as well as other purpose where tracking of passenger is required.
Eliminates excess spending on printed tickets
Unlike the traditional paper ticket, the newly launched initiative does not necessarily require a paper print to board the train, further reducing government spend on ticketing.
Limited seats for e-ticketing
As you may have known over the years, that corruption always finds an alternative way to strive regardless of the system in place.
It is the same situation here where ticket racketeering thrives.
Some commuters who have attempted to use the new system lamented that a limited number of seats are being made available for online booking.
As a result, some of the officials at the train stations still indulge in over-the-counter sales of train tickets.
In the wake of this awareness, stakeholders have advised the government to fine-tune the system for more efficiency.
They also advised that the government ensure that tickets booked online were not re-allocated.
Overall, the introduction of the new e-ticketing system is a laudable initiative; if well managed could significantly contribute to the nation’s growth.
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