Legislators in the House of Representatives are set to investigate alleged railway ticket racketeering after Nairametrics uncovered the menace in a special report in March.
The House of Representatives resolved to do this after they allegedly found that ticket racketeering activities were being carried out by operators of the Abuja and Kaduna railway stations.
— House of Reps NGR (@HouseNGR) May 4, 2021
What lawmakers are saying about racketeering
Zayyad Ibrahim of APC from Kaduna at the plenary, on Tuesday, said:
“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.
“[We are] 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, who buy wholesale tickets and resell to passengers at exorbitant prices.
“Taking cognizance 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 or affordable to the majority of passengers.”
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 Land Transport to investigate the matter and report back within two weeks for further legislative action.
What you should know about the e-Ticketing system
The Abuja-Kaduna train services were officially commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari on 26th July 2016, to provide an alternative to road transportation in the area.
There had been a tremendous increase in passengers at Idu and Kubwa stations in Abuja, as well as at Rigasa in Kaduna, due to increased patronage following security challenges on the Abuja and Kaduna Expressway. But it appears that that the increase in passengers led to ticket-racketeering, an ugly practice.
On March 16, 2021, Nairametrics published a special report where Nigerians lamented over the recent hike in train fares, which many of them said was illegal.
Aside from the difficulties and over 100% hike in the fares, most of the victims, who spoke with Nairametrics, urged the Federal Government through the Rotimi Amaechi-led Ministry of Transportation to investigate the allegations and expose the activities of the corrupt individuals involved in the menace.