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AFCON: Nigerians take to road travel as airfare to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire soar

AFCON: Nigerians take to road travel as airfare to Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire soar
AFCON: Nigerians take to road travel as airfare to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire soar

Many Nigerians going to Abidjan, the capital of Cote d’Ivoire to support the Super Eagles in their final match against the host country on Sunday are travelling via the road. This is because airfare to Abidjan now costs between N1.6m to N3.3m for one-way flight.

The hike in airfares has sparked outrage online as many fans who would have flown for just under two hours (1hour 45 minutes from Lagos to Abidjan) are now forced to take a 12-hour road trip as alternative.

One of such fans, @eldivyn, took to X to share his frustration.

“I drove from Lagos to Abidjan. Will drive all the way back too. It is ridiculous what intra Africa flight costs look like,” he wrote on X.

He strongly opposed the idea of spending such a substantial amount on airfare, regardless of his financial capabilities.

Checks revealed that Air Peace flight rates from Lagos to Abidjan range between N536,400, N995,100, and N1.7m. Ethiopian Airlines’ ticket prices range from N1.2m to N1.4m. Unfortunately, Turkish Airlines’ price list was unavailable due to being fully booked.

In light of these staggering prices, many travelers have turned to road transport as a more cost-effective option. According to the travel inquiry agency, Rome2rio, road transport prices vary between N52,000 and N107,647.

Checks also revealed that the trip from Lagos to the Ivorian Capital with ‘Young Shall Grow Motors’ ranges from N19,500 to N26,000.

The Super Eagles booked a place in the final on Wednesday after beating the Bafana Bafana of South Africa 3-2 on penalties. Cote d’Ivoire’s Éléphants joined the Eagles to set up a replica of one of their second group stage match after beating DR Congo with a lone goal.

The Super Eagles and the Elephants have met eight times in the African Cup of Nations. Two of the matches have ended in a draw, the Elephants won two, while the Eagles have won four of those encounters, two of them on penalties.

The two team’s most recent AFCON meeting was on January 18, in the group stage, where Nigeria won 1-0 with a penalty converted by William Troost-Ekong. They will meet again in the AFCON 2023 final on Sunday.

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