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Railway Corporation Insists Soldiers, Policemen Must Buy Tickets.

The issue of uniformed men (soldiers and police) not paying transportation fares (which had generated controversies) will soon be a thing of the past.

The management of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) on Wednesday, August 3, warned the police, military, para-military and other uniformed personnel against boarding its Ogun/Lagos Mass Transit Train (MTTS) without ticket.

According to Mr Jerry Oche, the Lagos railway district manager, no one was exempted from buying the tickets to board the train.

"The management is not under any obligation or agreement with the uniformed men or organisations not to pay for their ride,'' he said.

While speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), he also added irrespective of your status in the society civilian or military all are to pay their transport fares.

"It is a grievous offence for anyone to board the train without paying,'' he said, lamenting that uniformed men were in the habit of entering the train without ticket.

"There is no law in the country which stipulates that anyone should board the train without ticket either in uniform or not.''

According to him, the penalty for joining the train without ticket does not exempt anyone.

"It has come to the notice of the management that many passengers, including uniformed men usually board the train without ticket.

The management wishes to say that boarding the train without ticket has no exception and is a serious offence for defaulters regardless of status.

If one is caught without a ticket, he pays double the fare inside the train.

"But if the passenger refuses and is taken to the police station, he pays N25,000 fine and because the police can't keep him beyond 24 hours, he will be taken to court.

"I have also noticed it on few occasions that I was in the train that uniformed men don't buy tickets and I forced them to pay and they paid,'' he said.

Oche said that his announcement was important because, the management had noticed that some checkers on trains, deliberately did not demand for tickets from uniformed men aboard.

According to him, the checkers have the right to check and call for the arrest of any passengers without ticket, whether they are uniformed men or not.

Meanwhile, only a week ago, the Nigerian Senate passed the Nigeria Railway Corporation Act, 1955 Repeal and Re- enactment Bill, 2016.

The bill, which was passed on Thursday, July 21, was sponsored by Senator Olugbenga Ashafa (APC Lagos East). Ashafa who doubles as the chairman, Senate Committee on Land Transport, revealed this via his twitter handle.

The bill privatized the Nigeria Railway Corporation, the Lagos state senator said that the bill separated the regulator from the operators, adding that with the passing of the bill, Nigerians should expect a radical change in the railway sector.
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