The Nigeria Railway Corporation on Wednesday kicked off e-ticketing services for the Lagos-Ibadan and Itakpe-Warri train routes.
The e-ticketing system, launched by the Minister of Transportation, Sai'du Alkali, in Abuja, aims to revolutionise transportation efficiency through technology.
The Minister underscored that the e-ticketing system would eliminate ticket racketeering and contribute to the government's goal of zero tolerance for corruption.
He expressed optimism about the project's potential to boost revenue, citing significant increase in earnings from the Itakpe-Warri route in anticipation of the e-ticketing system's launch.
While experts in the tech ecosystem have commended the initiative, they emphasised the need for increased awareness to mitigate cybersecurity risks.
They warned that Nigerians must be educated to avoid falling victim to fraudsters who might exploit the new system.
To address concerns about ticket authenticity, the Founder of Hyperspace Technologies, Oluseyi Akindeinde, emphasised the need for massive awareness.
He suggested utilising methods such as radio jingles, television demonstrations, and extensive marketing campaigns to educate Nigerians on using the e-ticketing system and identifying genuine tickets, fostering confidence in the new payment method.
He said, “Nigerians should know how to use the e-ticketing system and distinguish between real and fake tickets.”
A Cybersecurity Analyst at SAP, Chukwuka Madumere, said the introduction of e-ticketing marks a significant step toward a more streamlined and secure rail transportation system, noting that vigilance and awareness remain key in ensuring its successful implementation.
Last month, the NRC disclosed that nine of its officials were involved in ticket racketeering at the Ibadan railway station.
The Managing Director, Fidet Okharia promised that adequate measures would be put in place to prevent people without tickets from gaining access to the departure lounge enroute boarding the train.
Fare Solution Ltd. is responsible for the Warri-Itakpe rail line contract, while Global Software and Digital Solutions would be handling the Lagos-Ibadan rail line contract.
The Federal Executive Council approved the e-ticketing contracts for both rail routes early in 2023, allocating a total budget of N1.96bn for these projects.
To book a train on the website, NIN is also a requirement. After a train had been booked, payment is expected to be made, and the website will redirect users to a Flutterwave website for payment using a debit card.