Ticket Racketeering: Amaechi blows hot, orders sack of erring NRC officials 




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….Assures work will soon commence on Ibadan-, Harcourt Maiduguri, -Maradi and - rail lines

By Chibuike Nwabuko

Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Minister of Transportation, Rt Honourable Rotimi Amaechi blew hot on Friday over ongoing ticket racketeering at Abuja-Kaduna train station, directing Managing Director Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), Fidet Okhiria to identify and sack erring officials.

Minister warned that he will not allow ticketing process he laboured so hard with to put together, to be messed by saboteurs.

He gave order on Friday in Abuja at annual ministerial press briefing on landmark programmes, project and activities of ministry and it’s agencies in the year 2020.

Amaechi said the buying of multiple tickets and hoarding them to resell would not have been possible without active connivance of the railway staff.

Amaechi said that one of the major reasons why ticket racketeering must stop is the security threat it posses to the society.

“You must match the ticket with the face carrying it so that we don’t fall into security problems,” he said.

The minister announced that the transportation will be before the end of this year.

He said, “there is a committee working on the transport and we are having conversations with the office of the Vice President. In attendance is myself, the for Transport, Minister of Works, Minister of Finance and it is being chaired by the Vice President. We intend to come with the transport before the year runs out”.

Also, the minister said that work will soon commence on Ibadan-, Harcourt Maiduguri, Kano-Maradi and - rail lines.

on Friday stated work would soon begin on some selected rail projects for which contracts have been awarded.

He informed that government has solved the financial problems associated with the rail projects.

According to him: “We have awarded the following contracts and we are about to start and we have even tried to solve the financial problems. This is because we have the problem of having to hire consulting engineers.

“The ones we are about to start are Ibadan to Kano, that we are waiting for funds from China.

“We are about to start Harcourt to Maiduguri, we are waiting for the cabinet to approve consulting . We are also to start the Kano-Maradi and to .”

“But one thing that is unique about these contracts is that the President early enough directed that all rail lines must terminate at the sea ports.

“That is why there may be a bit of adjustment in the pricing of Kano-Maradi because we have to adjust it to link to Kano-Lagos so that it can terminate at Lagos seaport.”

Amaechi said the 185.5km Lagos-Ibadan double standard gauge line with extension to Apapa seaport was nearing completion while the 186km Abuja-Kaduna and 302km Warri-Itakpe standard guage lines had been completed and were functional.

He was joined at the briefing by Minister of Information and Culture, and for Transportation, Gbemisola Saraki.