The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission has issued two Full Business Case certificates (FBCs) for the concession of e-ticketing for the Lagos/Ibadan and Warri/Itakpe rail services.
Acting Director General of the ICRC, Michael Ohiani, presented the FBCs to the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, for the projects which will be domiciled in the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC).
Speaking before presenting the certificates, Ohiani said that the concession will generate over N140bn to the Federal government as well as create over 3,000 direct and indirect employment within the ten-year period of the concession.
He said that some of the primary objectives of the concession include: to reduce the cost of handling cash and enhance convenience of passengers by making it possible to book tickets from the comfort of their homes.
“The concession is for 10 years and it is going to generate over N140bn to the Federal Government. It will also create over 3000 direct and indirect job opportunities.
“The next step is to set up a Special Purpose Vehicle to deliver the project and the Minister will also have to take it to the Federal Executive Council for approval before going to the ministry of Justice to clear it,” he said.
The overall scope of the project is to design, finance, build, operate and manage a secure ticketing solution system for the passenger’s station on the Lagos – Ibadan and the Warri-Itakpe Standard Train Service.
While the Warri-Itakpe service is expected to generate N50,718,109,320, expected accruals from the Lagos – Ibadan service is put at N90,429,635,939 within the 10-year concession period.
In his response, the Minister of Transportation hailed the move to concession the service, noting that the Abuja-Kaduna rail e-ticketing concession was a testament that such concessions are profitable and generate more money for the government.
He said that prior to it coming into effect, the Federal Government only generated about N189m every month from the Abuja – Kaduna service, whereas the figure rose to N400m after the concession came into effect.
The minister added that although the number of coaches on the service was increased, there was still clear evidence of increased revenue as wastage had been eliminated.
He, however, said that he disagreed with some members of the public who continue to insist that the service witness a lot of ticket racketeering.
“Where I think I disagree with the public is where they say that there is still ticket racketeering. I have spoken with the concessionaire in charge of Abuja-Kaduna e-ticketing and we have agreed that they should take over passenger identification from the NRC.
“What the National Assembly told me is that NRC does not cross check the ID with the ticket, and that the concessionaire had always wanted to do it but had not gotten approval from NRC.
“So, I have directed NRC to allow the concessionaire do it so that we can match names and faces on the identity documents with those on the tickets.
“If we are able to identify all the passengers, we will able to reduce crime, corruption and the dangers of security crisis,” he said.
The Minister commended the ICRC for the expeditious manner in which they handled the issuance of the Full Business Case Certificate.