Tunde Kelani, the ace filmmaker, has criticised the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) over what he described as its poor operation at the Yaba train station on the country’s 61st Independence Day.
Taking to his Instagram page on Friday, the 73-year-old movie producer also accused the corporation of failing to predict a high turnout of commuters at the station on a national holiday, leading to what he termed “chaos”.
“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,” he said.
“Appropriate operational plan could have been 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.”
The award-winning filmmaker also expressed doubts about the readiness of the NRC to run the train station.
“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,” he added.
“Finding out too late, reports, no first-class service on this train. Another queue 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 proof of identity etc. Frankly, I think China’s CCECC has delivered or will deliver when the project is complete and handed over. But is NRC 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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