By Kasim SumainaÂ 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 passengersâ€™ 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.
Â “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,â€ 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,â€ he lamented.
The Manager of Abuja-Kaduna Train Service, Pascal Nnorli, while speaking with the press, said: â€œWe 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 donâ€™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.
â€œAfter 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 ticketâ€, Nnorli said.