Ticket racketeering: Amaechi explains why he sacked 11 Railway workers

Rotimi Amaechi

Nigerian Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, has disclosed why he ordered the immediate dismissal of 11 workers of the Nigerian Railway Corporation(NRC).

The Minister gave the explanation while interacting with select online reporters.

According to the Minister, he personally went on unscheduled inspection to the Abuja-Kaduna rail stations on Friday, having received complaints from Passengers via social media.

Those affected include, the station Managers, Porters and ticket officials at Idu and Rigasa rail stations, Abuja.

Amaechi, however, said the only solution to ending such illegal trading of tickets at the stations was to bring in more coaches to break the monopoly of the man who hoards tickets.

“The man is trading. He buys a ticket and he offers you at N3000. If you don’t want to buy, you don’t want to buy.

“The man is not creating scarcity; the scarcity is because government is not able to bring in more coaches. So, the solution to it is, go and bring in more coaches, the man won’t have a business.

“As soon as we bring in more coaches and have between 10 to 17 coaches; there will be too many spaces for the man not to have that market. We currently have only four coaches. These four coaches can only take 120 passengers. So, if you have about 800 passengers, that means there is a deficit of about 600 and something. So, some passengers will pay more if they must go to Kaduna,” the Minister explained.

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The Minster decried lack of fund, which he said was principally responsible to the lack of infrastructures currently plaguing the railway sector, adding that, with more money, more coaches would be bought and more railways would be constructed.

He said, “The contracts that you need to deliver on a railway are in tonnes of naira. Take for example the approval by the President that we should do a railway from Abuja to Lokoja to join Itakpe to Warri as well as a seaport in Warri; that project was put at $3.1bn, which is nearly N1tr. Where will you get the money from”?

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