The Nigeria Railway Corporation has taken action against its staff members who were discovered engaging in unauthorized transactions with passengers on the Lagos-Ibadan Train Service without proper ticketing,Daily Trust reports.
A viral post, widely circulated on social media, depicted unidentified staff members collecting money from passengers who had not obtained tickets before the train’s departure.
The post, authored by a user named Daramola E. Adenike @Dara4Enjoyment on X (formerly Twitter), gained significant traction on various platforms. In the post, the user recounted an incident in which several passengers in one of the coaches were allowed to board the train without tickets, with NRC officials collecting cash from them.
The user’s account read: “Today, while traveling from Ibadan to Lagos, some NRC employees persuaded us to board the train without tickets. Initially, they feigned assistance by leading us to the ticket counter, but instead, they directed us to the railway without official tickets. They collected cash during the journey. On October 2, 2023, my friends and I were returning to Lagos after a weekend in Ibadan.”
“We arrived at the Train Station around 03:40 pm. As we approached the entrance of Obafemi Awolowo Train Station in Ibadan, a uniformed NRC official approached us and inquired about our tickets. I informed him that we were on our way to purchase them. He then asked about our group size, and I told him there were five of us.”
“He instructed us to follow him, and since he was wearing an NRC uniform and appeared to be an official staff member, we trusted him. However, instead of leading us to the ticket counter, he guided us through security and towards the train.”
“I informed him again that we lacked tickets to board the train, but he assured us that it would be sorted out. He then handed us over to another uniformed staff member who directed us to Coach 7. I reiterated our lack of tickets to her, and she acknowledged it, saying that it would be resolved.”
“While I was looking for a staff member to talk to, I noticed new passengers entering the train. I approached one of them and inquired about his ticket. He had one and had just purchased it. This contradicted the earlier impression that we were too late to buy tickets. I confronted the staff member who had escorted us, and he claimed that since we were a group of five, we wouldn’t be able to sit together if we purchased tickets at the counter.”
“I was taken aback by his response, as it lacked credibility. I returned to my seat, still carrying my money, and decided to observe the situation. A few minutes after the train departed, the staff began collecting cash from passengers in Coach 7. I paid N18,000 in cash for five people, while over 60 individuals paid N3,600 each without receiving tickets.”
Our reporter has learned that this practice has become widespread, with staff members collecting cash from passengers who arrive slightly late at the train station.
In response, the NRC has suspended the involved officials pending a thorough investigation. Mahmood Yakub, the NRC spokesperson, issued a statement condemning the staff’s actions and announcing the commencement of a comprehensive inquiry.
Yakub stated, “The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) strongly condemns such misconduct, which is a clear violation of established regulations and a betrayal of the trust placed in these workers, especially at a time when the Federal Government is working diligently to revitalize and modernize the Corporation.”
“This misconduct is regrettable and unacceptable as it goes against the principles and norms of the Corporation. Consequently, the identified employees involved in these actions have been immediately suspended pending the outcome of a comprehensive investigation by the Management Committee.”
“Our valued passengers and the general public are assured that we will not tolerate or take lightly any actions that tarnish the Corporation’s reputation. Appropriate disciplinary measures, in accordance with the relevant sections of the NRC General Rules and Public Service Rules (PSR), will be taken against those found responsible or connected to this irresponsible behavior.”
“The NRC management urges all passengers on the Lagos-Ibadan Train Service and other routes to insist on and demand boarding tickets after making proper payments at designated stations or by booking online. It is worth noting that the electronic ticketing system will be deployed and available on both the Lagos-Ibadan Train Service and the Warri-Itakpe Train Service (WITS) by the end of October 2023.”