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Govt resumes Abuja-Kaduna train service, hikes ticket prices

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For the first time, eight months after the shutdown, the federal government today resumed the Abuja-Kaduna train service.

However, fare prices have been reviewed upwards for all classes of coaches.

Although the new fare hasn’t been announced publicly by the Nigerian Railway Corporation, the train service operators, the new pricing has been affected online on the NRC online ticketing App.

Details on the new pricing template show that the Inside Standard coach (economy) now costs N3,600 from the previous N2600, representing a N1,000 increment.

The business class now goes for N6,500 as against the N5,000 previously charged. The Executive Class will now cost N9,000 as against the N6,000 previously charged. Online purchases will attract a little extra cost on each fee.

This is the second time the NRC will raise its ticket price in two years.

At the wake of the COVID-19 lockdown, the NRC raised the ticket cost by 100 per cent.

The First-class Express trip cost N3,000; First-class normal trip: N2,500; the economy express trip was N1,500, and the economy normal trip is N1,300.

After COVID, the fare became N6,000, N5,000, N3000 and N2,600, respectively.

READ ALSO:IGP orders deployment of police officers to Abuja-Kaduna route as train service resumes Monday

Meanwhile, the Federal Government may have lost a whopping N6.6 billion from the 251 days shutdown.

At a recent function, the Director of NRC, Fidet Okhiria, said the government lost about N113 million to inactivity on the route for over eight months.

While noting that many Nigerians also incurred losses indirectly due to the halt of operations on the route, Okhiria said: “The last time we checked that was between the months of February to August. We have lost about N113 million, using what we earned between January and March as a working document.

Checks revealed that coaches plying the Abuja-Kaduna rail line have the capacity to carry between 900 and 1,000 passengers per trip. An average economy ticket before the suspension sold between N2,800 and N3,000, while VIP tickets sold for N6,000.

NRC makes a minimum of N2.7 million per trip at N3,000 a ticket, and when added to the 124 VIP passengers at N6,000 per ticket, the sum total per trip is about N3.3 million.

The Abuja-Kaduna Train Service (AKTS) operates eight trips daily, which gives about N26.2 million daily. When multiplied by 251 days, it gives about N6.6 billion.

The Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) also corroborated this finding when it revealed that NRC recorded about 72 per cent loss of revenue in the second quarter of 2022 as their revenue dropped by N1.48 billion in the second quarter (Q2) of 2022.

The data, published on its verified website, said while 953,099 passengers used the railway in the first quarter of 2022, the number of railway passengers recorded in the second quarter was 422,393.

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