Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation, says the price of the rail tickets from Abuja to Kaduna is cheap, hence a need to increase it.
The minister made this comment on Tuesday after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
At present, the executive class ticket is sold at N1,500 while the standard class goes for N1,050.
The minister also said the president would soon inaugurate 10 coaches and two locomotives for the Kaduna to Abuja train service.
Rotimi Amaechi; Minister of Transport
He said the increase in the number of locomotives would end racketeering, which led to the sack of the station managers, porters, and ticket officials at Idu and Rigasa rail stations in August.
“We discussed the commissioning of 10 new coaches and two locomotives which would bring the total number of coaches to 14 on the Kaduna-Abuja route,” he said.
“The president is pleased with the arrangement because basically we will then be able to discharge the passengers pressure that we have had, that is why you have ticket racketeering. When demand outstrips supply then you see all sorts of attempts to cheats the passengers.
“There are two things I know the president likes, I have mentioned one, the second one is after commissioning even the passengers agree that the cost of transportation to Kaduna via the railway is a bit too cheap.
“So, there will be a need to increase the price of the cost and then there will be more comfort.
“More comfort in the sense that when you have excess seats multiply by the number of passengers that will come, then anybody that wants to racketeer will have to eat the tickets himself.”
The first two modern locomotives for the Abuja-Kaduna standard gauge rail line were purchased at N1.1 billion by the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
In October 2017, Amaechi had announced that an additional 10 locomotives were being expected in December 2017.
The minister did not say how much will the route is projected to generate.
“I’m not an expert in that area but I one thing I know is that one of the locomotives will be dedicated to direct trip from Kaduna to Abuja non-stop, that should be doing 1:15 or 1:20 minutes non-stop,” he said.
“That will enable those living in Kaduna and working in Abuja to actually come to work on time. If you leave at 6am by 7:15, 7:20 you should be in Abuja.”