By Modupe Gbadeyanka
After several calls by passengers for the sale of tickets online, the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) commenced test bookings on its platform.
This information was disclosed by the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, who added that the skeletal sale is restricted to the Abuja to Kaduna route.
In a tweet posted via his Twitter handle on Wednesday, the Minister stated that the services would be extended to other routes from next week.
“Yes, we have commenced test bookings on the NRC e-ticketing platform, starting with the Abuja-Kaduna rail line. Next week, we’ll launch fully. Check it out and make bookings at nrc.tps.ng,” he said.
The adoption of online ticket sale is expected to reduce the ticket racketeering complained about at most rail stations in the country.
When Business Post checked the website provided by Mr Amaechi for the online booking, it was not accessible on the Mozilla Firefox browser but accessible on the Google Chrome platform.
It was observed that the bookings available on the Abuja and Kaduna destinations were only for two days, January 13 and 14. The booking was smooth, with safety information given as regards the COVID-19 protocols, which requires the use of hand sanitizer, washing of hands and wearing of a face mask.
The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has transformed the almost dead rail sector in Nigeria. This has made him to be commended by many Nigerians.
The Nigerian Railway System pioneered the rapid opening up of the geographical area called Nigeria, therefore, represents the oldest modern form of transportation in Nigeria.
Railway development in Nigeria was initiated by private interest. This was later taken over by the then colonial government as Government Railway for the purpose of easy and cheap movement of bulk goods from the hinterlands to the seaports and vice versa.
The 112-year-old agency runs a unilaterally designed track system of 1067mm cape gauge. Only 30km of its track distribution is in double track and that is within Lagos area.
The Nigerian Railway System actually commenced rail business activities with the construction of the first rail line from Lagos to Ibadan (193km) between 1898 and 1901. By 1964 when the construction of 640km Kano – Maiduguri rail line, then known as Bornu extension, was completed, the present core of the railway network had been put in place.
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