The President-General, Nigeria Union of Railway Workers, Innocent Ajiji, has said that the installation of online ticket bookings and baggage scanners at the Lagos-Ibadan train station is a work in progress.
He, however, stated that he was not sure of the management’s plan to introduce point of sales to the service.
Speaking to our correspondent on Monday, the NURW president stated that management had made plans for online ticket bookings and baggage scanner at the Lagos-Ibadan train station.
He said adverts had been placed for any company interested in managing online bookings to apply, as some firms had already indicated interest.
Ajiji said, “On the Abuja rail service, tickets are sold online, so one doesn’t need to go to the train stations before buying tickets, but that of Lagos-Ibadan is a work in progress.
“One of the reasons for the delay is because the Lagos-Ibadan rail was barely opened a few months back and the attack on the Abuja-Kaduna service also contributed to the delay in the installation of these gadgets. Adverts have been placed for interested companies to apply.”
He said if online bookings start before the end of the year, there would be no need for POS, as the online purchase of tickets would be a lot easier and safer, while passengers who could not buy online would do so at the ticketing booth.
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On the baggage scanner, Ajiji said the facility had been acquired but yet to be installed. He noted that the reduction of train services as a result of the hike in diesel price and the Abuja-Kaduna train attack were some of the reasons why the government delayed the installation.
The NURW president said, “The reduction of the daily trips as a result of diesel price hike and the Abuja-Kaduna train attack have also contributed to the delay of some of these work processes by the government.
“If not for the interruption we had with the Abuja-Kaduna train attack, we would have gone far with these processes at the Lagos-Ibadan rail.”
An assistant station manager, who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity, said the non-usage of POS at the train station was the management’s decision, adding that online booking monitors had been installed.
He said, “It is the management’s decision not to use POS but the online booking monitor has been installed.”
Efforts to get the reaction of the Deputy Director, Public Relations, Nigeria Railway Corporation, Mahmud Yakubu, was not successful, as he had yet to respond to a text message of press time.