Passengers in their numbers on Sunday, August 5, 2018 were stranded at the Kaduna station of the newly commissioned Kaduna to Abuja rail services operated by the Nigerian Railway Corporation. The enraged passengers that waited to board the 4.00PM trip could not make the trip as tickets were not available. It was later discovered that some staff of the station sold the tickets to touts, who later resell to passengers at an exaggerated price different from the regulated price for the route.
The activities of touts in Nigeria’s public corporations is well documented. What baffles me is that the Kaduna state government hasn’t clamped down on these miscreants. Despite all efforts made by the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to stop activities of touts at the Lagos airport, it has not stopped especially at the cargo section. To see this subversion of process spread to the Kaduna- Abuja train station is disheartening and must be investigated to fish out the culprits and punish them to serve as deterrent to others.
Apart from the fact that usage of touts is unprofessional in service delivery, it also denies government of the necessary revenue as it prevents transparency. The Kaduna-Abuja train service is designed to ease the movement of Nigerians from Kaduna to Abuja and vice versa however it is important we protect this national asset from those with the intention to cripple the institution because their own personal greed. The crisis that befell previous flagships of the NRC started with unwholesome practices like this where the management failed to carry out its responsibilities as expected.
It is important those saddled with the responsibility of managing the this rail service do so with utmost dedication to the nation and fight unwholesome practices that might mar its operations.