The Nigerian Railway Corporation has announced that it has received a total of 24 bids on open requests for the Lagos/Ibadan and Warri/Itakpe e-ticketing solutions for standards gauge railway operations under its Public/Private/Partnership (PPP) arrangement.

This follows the approval granted by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) and the issuance of a certificate that grants NRC an Outline Business Certificate to enable it to process PPP-based online ticket sales solutions for its operations.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, this disclosure was made by the Managing Director of NRC, Mr Fidet Okhiria, at the opening of the request on Monday, November 22, in Lagos. Okhiria, who was represented by the Director of Operations, NRC, Mr Niyi Alli, said that bidders that did not meet the criteria for the open request would be disqualified adding that the operations would be on a build, operate and transfer basis.

What the Managing Director of NRC is saying

Okhiria said that 11 companies bid for the Lagos-Ibadan e-ticketing operation while 13 companies bid for Warri-Itakpe e-ticketing standards gauge operation.

On why the corporation is going ahead with its move for e-ticketing, Okhiria said that introduction of e-ticketing had improved passenger turnout at the Abuja-Kaduna standards gauge operation.

He also said that after the evaluation stage of the procurement process, only 4 bidders would be chosen.

What a top official of ICRC is saying

The Director of Transport Infrastructure at ICRC, Mr Emmanuel Onwodi, said at the event that there would be 2 stages in the bidding namely; request for qualifications which is the opening of the bids and request for proposals where bidders would submit financial and technical bids before going into negotiations.

Onwodi said, “This opening request involves checking the eligibility criteria for evaluation based on set criteria. We discovered that some other bidders brought their documents after the closing of the advert, which is not allowed in procurement.

“A total of 11 companies bid for Lagos/Ibadan e-ticketing operation while 13 companies bid for Warri/Itakpe standards gauge operation.

We have a good number to look at, that is the kind of competition we are expecting so that government can have value for money because the e-ticketing will be handled by any party that has both financial and technical capability to deliver.’’

He said that the eligibility check was being done openly to demonstrate transparency.

In case you missed it

The NRC had on Sunday announced that it will soon begin the process of selecting e-ticketing service providers for the Lagos-Ibadan and Warri-Itakpe standard gauge rail service after it received approval from ICRC.

Recall that the Federal Government had earlier in the year, launched a N900 million E-Ticketing platform for the Kaduna-Abuja rail services of the Nigerian Railway Corporation.

The ICRC had noted that the introduction of e-ticketing would reduce the cost of operation, reduce handling cash and multiple fare problems as well as minimise human involvement in train fare transactions.

It also pointed out that it will enable the collection of information, assist in the improvement of service to passengers and provide a platform for train fare transactions to take place seamlessly.