Again, the hope of some passengers who had wanted to travel to Abuja on the 1:30pm trip from the Rigasa train station, Kaduna State was cut short on Tuesday as poor service stalled the ticketing and boarding process.
The angry passengers who were clustered in the small-sized ticketing office of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) were seen confronting railway workers who were also exhausted from the slow process.
THE WHISTLER gathered that verifying a passenger’s details took between 20 to 30 minutes, and in other cases, the scanner could do nothing due to the bad server.
While some passengers were lucky to make their way through the pre-boarding process after a long waiting time, others looked across the room seeking hope or a miracle from the already frustrated staff.
The members of staff expressed their frustration on the side among themselves, audible to the hearing of this reporter, and they revealed that the issue was from the server of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
One of the members of staff said, “I am just tired of standing there (ticketing office) the passengers are just looking at me, frustrated and I don’t know what to do.
“I have tried to engage the NIMC guys around. So, they were saying that all the people using their server are actually complaining presently because they are trying to switch from the major source that they were using to another source.
“And they confirmed that it is actually from their end, and most of the companies using their servers like banks, customs and others are currently having serious difficulty at the moment, and the passengers are really. It’s not funny at all.”
This paper gathered that most of the tickets bought either online or at the ticketing office did not reflect the images of the passengers, which defeats the entire initiative of using the National Identification Number (NIN).
“Some tickets are not showing pictures, but you check their details, it is correct and they are allowed to pass,”a member of staff said.
Another worker added, “We had a similar experience here (Rigasa Station), but we allow them to go, will you withhold their tickets?”
This reporter also could not verify her image on the NRC e-ticketing Application, but the members of staff at Rigasa noted that having your details reflected during the pre-boarding process was more important than the photographs.
Passengers at the Rigasa Train Station, who could not verify their details or board their tickets before 1:25 pm were either squeezed into the train by NRC staff or left to return home.
More frustrating for the passengers is the fact that the NRC operates a non-refund policy for it’s tickets.
The Executive tickets cost N9,000, Business A and B tickets cost N6,500 and Standard costs N3,600 excluding VAT, medical fee – N30, Insurance Fee – N10 and Stamp Duty Fee – N50.
Recall that this website had reported a similar situation at the Idu Train Station where many passengers scheduled for the 9:45 am trip on Monday, heading to Kaduna, returned home or use road transportation following a poor server.
The NRC had introduced the use of NIN for train users to properly vet travellers and to prevent a breach in security during train travel.
The development followed the attack by terrorists on an inbound Kaduna -Abuja train on March 28.
The incident led to the shutdown of train operations for over eight months.