Nigerian, Minister for Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi has ordered the removal of Station Managers, Ticket Sellers and Porters at Idu and Rigasa train station.The affected people are allegedly responsible for extorting money from passengers in Business Class.
Passengers have in the last six weeks complained of extortion by Porters whose role is to carry luggage.The fare which is N1500 is usually doubled by Porters and others who are yet to be identified.
The Minister who spoke during an inspection of activities at Idu and Kubwa Stations in Abuja Friday, however, expressed optimism that their removal would address the menace and restore passengers’ confidence and the arrival of more coaches would help address the lingering issue.
“The Porter services should also go and those who they help to carry luggage should carry their luggage themselves. The elevator would be fixed to make it easy for passengers to carry their luggage.” Mr. Amaechi also responded to suggestions from the Public on the concession of the rail system, said when concessionaires put their own money, things would run well because there would be multiple coaches and it would increase competition
The Manager, Abuja-Kaduna Train Service, Mr. Pascal Nnorli narrated how the racketeers were caught. “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 this act sometimes lie to passengers that there is no more ticket. This morning, I came as early as 5 am 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. Immediately he was he was apprehended. Now that we have gotten him, he will take us to Abbas who will help us with our investigation by telling us who gives him the ticket”, Nnorli said.