SAN FRANCISCO, April 19, (THEWILL) – The Federal Government on Thursday said it would increase the number of trains plying the Abuja-Kaduna route to run a train per hour before the end of 2019.
Mr Freeborn Okhiria, Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) said this as part of activities of the Belt and Road Initiative’s celebration to mark 1,000 days of smooth operations of the rail system in Nigeria in Abuja.
Okhiria said that the increase in the number of trains was in response to complaints by Nigerians.
“People are complaining that we are not providing enough service.
“We are promising them that we will increase the number of trains we run before the end of the year; we should be able to target one train per hour.
“We have already ordered the coaches and those ones are going to be different from the ones we have.”
The NRC boss also said that the Federal Government had begun creating an e-ticket system to ease the burden of passengers.
“The e-ticket is at an advanced stage. This is a government system and we have to pass through due process.
“As we speak about three companies are in the final stage with ICRC because it is going to involve a lot of money, and we do not have the money to do it.
“We need to have the hardware to make sure we protect our earnings and protect the passengers using the e-ticketing because we have to have a barrier that allows a genuine ticket holder to access the platform and exit the station.
“If we do not put the (proper) system in place electronically, a passenger can buy a ticket to Kubwa and get to Kaduna if care is not taken. So we have to consider all that, and it is being developed.”
He added that the e-ticketing system would also be developed bearing the future in mind.
Mr. Pascal Nnorli, Manager, Abuja-Kaduna Train Service (AKTS) said the Abuja Station had recorded 1.5 million passengers since its inception with an average of four return trips daily.
Nnorli also said that passengers that used the train on a daily basis were not less than 3,000.
“Today, we have had our 1.5 million passengers since inception.