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Veteran filmmaker and actor, Tunde Kelani, has chastised the Nigerian Railway Corporation for inadequate service delivery as he recounts his ordeal.

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Tunde Kelani laments bitterly in a lengthy Instagram post that on a national holiday, October 1, the administration was unable to put in place an operational plan to handle the huge volume of passengers.

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According to Tunde Kelani, no NRC staff had arrived at the station as of 6 a.m. on Friday morning, when there were long lines and a massive crowd, and the ticketing office doors were shut.

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The passengers were also faced with payment issues when the NRC employees arrived, according to Tunde Kelani, who added that the Yaba terminal of Mobolaji Johnson Station was no better than the Oshodi or any of the township auto parks.

NIGERIAN RAILWAY CORPORATION (NRC) GETS IT WRONG! The NRC operating the new SGR could have been more efficient this morning at the Yaba terminal with advance planning. 

On a National holiday, October 1, the high turnout of passengers could have been anticipated and an appropriate operational plan put in place.

At 6 am, when long queues have been formed, no staff of NRC has arrived! The doors of the ticketing office remained shut. More passengers were arriving at 6:45 when the door was finally thrown open with NRC staff struggling to manage the ensuing chaos.

‘Abeokuta this way’, ‘Ibadan that way only resulted in a stampede to get to the front of the line. Inside the ticket office, there was more confusion – ‘Abeokuta standard that line, Abeokuta business class this line – Ibadan business class is another line and Ibadan standard class is the other line. 

Finding out too late, reports, no first class service on this train. Another queque has developed to get to the cubicle. No POS payment, you have to provide cash, counted one by one, by the ticket salesperson. A dozen biro or ballpoints scribbling on tiny tickets with a proof of identity etc. etc.

Frankly, I think China’s CCECC has delivered or will deliver when the project is complete and handed over. But is NRC is ready? The new system cannot be allowed to run as an extension of the old NRC. Should China take over the commercial management or should it be contracted to Nigerian firms who can deliver efficient and enjoyable service? This morning, the EBJ/Yaba terminal of Mobolaji Johnson Station was no better than the Oshodi or any of our township motor parks. SHAME!

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