FG Fires Managers of Abuja-Kaduna Rail over Extortion


By Kasim Sumaina in Abuja

The Federal Government, Friday, Sacked the Manager of Idu and Rigasa train station including all the ticket sellers and porters involved in extorting money from passengers.

The Federal Government, through the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi hinted that their removal would help address the menace and restore passengers’ confidence.

Amaechi during an inspection tour to the rail station at Idu and Kubwa, Abuja, said that, passengers had complained on social media of the activities of these managers, porters and the ticket sellers.

“When I discovered that the complaint lasted for over four weeks, it showed that, it is not a lie and that is why I have to come to check.

 “You know, Nigerians are human beings and whenever the system fails, it is because the person in charge of the system has allowed it to fail and that would not happen under my watch.

“The emphasis from the public is that we should concession it so that they can take over. When concessionaires put their money, things would run well because, there would be multiple coaches and it would increase competition.

“I think the best thing to do is to remove the ticket sellers in Idu and Rigasa and also remove station manager at Rigasa and let’s hope that would address it,” he said.

He added that the Porters should equally go and that those they help to carry luggage should carry their luggage themselves.

“We will soon fix the elevator to make it easy for passengers to carry their luggage. The fact the train itself is dirty means you people are not doing the right thing because passengers complained on social media that the toilet is bad and they want me to fix it,” he lamented.

The Manager of Abuja-Kaduna Train Service, Pascal Nnorli, while speaking with the press, said: “We have been hearing cases of ticket racketeering for the past six weeks from high profile Nigerians and the management decided to set up a team to get to the root of the matter.

Those behind the act sometimes lie to passengers that there is no more ticket. This morning, I came as early as 5am and I disguised as a passenger because they don’t know me and I called one of the Porters by the name Mr. Peter and I told him I wanted a first class ticket.

“After a while, he called one Abass who seem to be their ringleader and he agreed to sell it for me at the rate of N3000 as against the N1000 that is sold at the ticket office. At the end of the day, I gave him N3000 to procure one for me and he did. Now that we have gotten him, he will take us to Abass who will help us with our investigation by telling us who gives him the ticket”, Nnorli said.

  • koncern

    name and shame the manager

    • Samuel Okezie

      It’s good they are named and shamed but that is not very important. Bode George was shamed, Tafa Balogun shamed, Wabara, etc. It still didn’t deter stealing nor has the firing squad deterred armed bandits. A system that measures service output and makes fraud more difficult is the secret of successful countries.
      It is in the nature of the unreformed man to cheat when the risks are low and reward high.

      • koncern

        true but its still better to name and shame them.

        • Samuel Okezie

          We named, shamed and humiliated an IGP but we did not remove the ultimate power to approve procurement contracts or impose a transparent system. We were left bewildered as Abacha signed off money from CBN under Security Votes and still left that power in place for his successors to use. Naming and shaming to me is the easy bit, we don’t like complex tasks.

  • A Aminu

    This report is full of inconsistencies. First of all, a first class ticket officially sells at N1500 and not N1,000.
    Secondly how can a train service that leaves at 7am and does not sell tickets before departure, say there are no tickets at 5am. It is not true. If the reporters says he went to buy a ticket at 6am or 6.30 am, the it is more like it.
    On these two issues, the report is not genuine.

  • Felicia Akinwale

    If the cancer fighting Fulani Herdsmen patron were around, such sack would never happen especially this fast. He probably would need six months of senate and masses complaints before realising there was corruption there.

  • Mayo

    While I commend the Minister for listening to the complaints of folks and trying to solve the problem, this is definitely not the way to fix the issue and this also shows a fundamental problem with governance in Nigeria.

    Hear the Minister – “I think the best thing to do is to remove the ticket sellers in Idu and Rigasa and also remove station manager at Rigasa and let’s hope that would address it,” he said. The Minister did not get some folks to research/investigate and find out what the problem is, and who is the cause. Instead he has embarked on a fire brigade method of sacking people and this is a common practice in Nigeria (we don’t bother to be methodical in doing things). People will cheer him for this but the problem might just continue. When Buhari came to power, he stopped the importation of fuel by private companies. Everybody cheered him. Then fuel scarcity came back and bit hard and people abused him, and then he went back to the original method. If Buhari had bothered to carry out an investigation, he would have determined that while there was corruption in the importation of fuel by private companies, private companies were needed for the importation because the government only had the capacity to import about a quarter of what was needed. If he had known this, he would have chosen a different way of attacking the problem – maybe first build up the government’s capacity and then end the use of private companies

  • abodes_124

    You see if this government wanted to truly fight corruption this is the way to go about uprooting it including both the highest and the lowest and focussing on the present instead of chasing after past shadows and having nothing to show for it. No the definition of corruption is not anything that happened during Jonathan’s rule’. It is an everyday occurrence that blights the life of every Nigerian.

  • Ify Onabu

    It is not enough to fire somebody from office. A person who misuses public office for personal gains has abused public trust. But the other perspective is to look at it as a criminal offence. It is therefore not enough to remove them from office. The full weight of the law should be brought to bear: the culprits must not only be tried in a court of law and committed to prison, if found guilty, and forced to ‘vomit’ their ill-gotten resources.

  • anonymous

    Take the ticket sales online, this will solve many of the problem highlighted.

    • Jon West

      Very simple solution, but beyond the comprehension of these intellectually challenged idiots in the corridors of power, in the famished state of Nigeria.

    • KlasJ

      If tickets are only sold online, it will serve only the elites and technology-literates. Rail service is not only for these sets of people.

      Furthermore, Nigerian airlines sell tickets online but this doesn’t prevent ticket racketeering by touts especially that of Arik at MMA1.

      Racketeering occurs because demand far outstrips supply. The Abuja-Kaduna runs two shuttles daily to and fro with few numbers of coaches. Until it is expanded, there will be touting.

  • Akins

    Government needs to do more investigation in other government owned agencies. Immigration (International Passport), FRSC ( Driver’s licence), Custom, even Government Universities and secondary schools.

    • abodes_124

      As far as they are concerned there is no ‘corruption’ going on under Buhari so no need to look into these dark corners. you can see the way Babachir Lawal was quickly absolved by Buhari.