Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) has revealed that the Federal government will rake in a whopping sum of N16 billion in the next 10 years from an estimated rise in the sales of train service through automated ticketing platform.
The Director-General of the commission, Engr Chidi Izuwah, made the revelation at the presentation of Full Business Scale Certificate for the concession of e-ticketing system to the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi in Abuja.
According to him, “you promised a couple of months that there is a solution to the chaos witnessed at the train stations. We are here today to present the full business certificate for the ticketing solution for Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC).
“What is interesting is that considering how popular the rail service is under the inspiration of the President Muhammadu Buhari, this transaction is for ten years and over those ten years, the financial model shows that NRC and the Federal government will earn over N16 billion as revenue from the ticketing system.
“That will provide additional revenue for the government. So basically, we have turned a problem into an opportunity. This is a PPP where the private sector will invest money to develop, deploy, operate and integrate ticketing solution so Nigerians will be able to buy their own tickets the way it is done anywhere in the world.
“The NRC has gone through a procurement process in line with the ICRC Act, a competitive process and a preferred breeder has been identified -SECURE ID.”
Continuing he said: “A full business case was developed, due diligence was carried out to verify the technical financial and managerial competence of SECURE ID and her partners to execute this project.
“The next stage is in line with the Act to present this to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approval. After FEC’s approval, then you can sign the concession agreement; then we can have the execution of this project to the benefit of Nigerians,” he said.
While highlighting more benefits of the e ticketing system, Izuwah explained that the objective of the project was to increase revenue generation through the reduction of fraud and also increase passenger-fare purchase options.
“We also want to increase passenger convenience by introducing the fare-dual hub. This will also improve service welfare to passengers and create a wider aisle of fare policies through additional value because those tickets can also carry adverts and become a substantial part of revenue,” he noted.
In his remarks, the minister thanked the DG ICRC for the timely presentation of the certificate, adding that he would proceed to council immediately for approval.
He, however, opined that beyond the e-ticketing system, a holistic approach to solving the problems associated with sales of ticket would be the buying of more coaches and locomotives to meet the increasing passenger traffic.
“I agree that this is a solution to the madness we have in Rigasa station down to Idu. But the most important solution is the provision of more coaches and locomotives.
“This will go a long way to reducing the madness because if people can buy their tickets from their offices and homes, they will not be coming to the train station to cause that chaos we are seeing there.
“I just had a meeting with the president today and we agreed that we should approach the Chinese and buy more coaches. The moment we get more coaches, then we will completely eradicate the current madness going on in the different station between Rigasa and Idu,” he revealed.