NRC set to commence e-Ticketing on narrow, standard gauge routes

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The Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC, will by September commence e-ticketing for passengers wishing to enjoy its services across the country, the Managing Director of the Corporation Fidet Okhiria has said.

Disclosing this during a chat reporters in his office, Okhiria said the project which would take off on its Abuja-Kaduna route, would later be introduced on its two major narrow gauge routes of Lagos-Kano which is the western line, and the Eastern line between Port-Harcourt to Gusau, the Zamfara State capital.

To make this come to fruition, the Managing Director of the Corporation Engr. Fidet Okhiria said nine companies have been shortlisted and are currently bidding to provide the service.

He noted that with this development prospective customers can book on line, for tickets to enjoy train services, adding that the tender was signed yesterday before all the bidders at Headquarters of the Corporation at Ebute-Metta, Lagos.

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Some of the companies that bid according to Okhiria are: Turn Around Engineering Limited, Secure ID Limited, Catamaran Nig Ltd, Soft Alliance and Resources Ltd, Nexant/Innovea Hub, and Backbone Connectivity Network Nig Ltd.

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Others are; Focal point Integrated Services Limited, Euphoria Press Limited and First Index Project and Services Limited.

He said the corporation is determined to ensure that any firm contracted to provide the service had the capacity to deliver cutting edge services that are peculiar to the railway environment.

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“Unlike what you have in the air transport business where ticketing is usually from one point to the other, in railway, you may have five to 10 stations in between two major destinations and those dropping off at those stations must be adjudged to have paid a fare that is commensurate to the journey made.”

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Speaking on the long abandoned Ajaokuta-Itakpe-Warri Standard Gauge railway line, Okhiria said a test run will commence next week preparatory to full commencement of full train service along the corridor. The Nation had recalled that the Minister of Transportation Mr Rotimi Amaechi had disclosed that that the corridor would be opened last month, a development which wasn’t realised.

He said though work is still ongoing on some of the railway stations along the corridor, this, according to him, would not prevent the commencement of commercial operation on the line as it has been in the limbo for far too long.

He disclosed that the test run would determine the reliability and integrity of the line.

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