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[ANALYSIS] Insecurity, Aviation crises: Flight ticket now between N100,000 and N150,000
Image for illustration purposes only

[ANALYSIS] Insecurity, Aviation crises: Flight ticket now between N100,000 and N150,000


A viral post on the social media from an unknown source reads, “Flight ticket is now between N100,000 and N150,000. And going by road, one is faced with the risk of being kidnapped and forced to pay certain amounts of money, ranging from N30million to N100million, depending on one’s kidnappers. The choice is yours. Naija we hail.”

As anonymous as the post is, it is the reality of the state of the country, where virtually all the means of transportation have become unsafe, owing largely to insecurity and the global economic situation.


It is reported that while aviation, which is the fastest means of transportation, has slipped away from the reach of average Nigerians, road transportation has become risky, while the budding railway industry has been technically grounded.

Since March 28, the Abuja-Kaduna train service has been grounded after the attack on the train by terrorists, who killed 10 passengers and kidnapped 62. While only 30 have been released, 32 people are still in captivity.

Since then, what appeared to be the safest means of transportation along the Abuja-Kaduna route has been suspended, leaving travellers on the axis stranded.


At a time the train service was being suspended, the Kaduna International Airport was also shut down after a terrorist attack around the airport.

Since the two attacks took place, the transportation system in Kaduna State became totally impaired, especially for those plying Abuja-Kaduna route.

The other alternative is to fly to Kano or Katsina from Abuja and continue to Kaduna by road. This may appear a safe option, but it is not an option for some people who could not risk being on the expressway, even for minutes, except with a full complement of security patrol vehicles.

But Azman relaunched flight in May with exorbitant air fares, with a one-way flight costing N100,000 from Abuja to Kaduna. This was even before the price of aviation fuel known as Jet A1 hit the roof.


Air fares beyond average Nigerians

At the moment, air fares across the country have gone above the ceiling and now beyond what an average Nigerian can afford.

Findings by our correspondent showed that a Lagos-Abuja flight on Ibom Air costs N120,000, ditto Lagos-Enugu.


It would be recalled that early in the year, all airlines fixed the cheapest economy fares.

Checks by Daily Trust Saturday indicated that many airlines have reviewed their prices, with the lowest ticket selling for N80,000 as against N50,000, which the airlines introduced recently.

But for a passenger booking on the day of travel or a day before, a one-way ticket could cost as much as N150,000.

Our correspondent further reports that the most expensive flights are on northern routes. Kano-Abuja flight, which is less than 30 minutes on Azman Air, costs between N75,000 and N100,000. On Max Air, it went as much as N135,000 a few days ago.

Also, Lagos-Abuja on Max Air recentlyy was N75,000. Abuja-Birnin Kebbi was also N75,000.

Airlines, however, blamed the development on the skyrocketing Jet A1 price, as well as scarcity, which has affected their schedules. From N200 in 2021, the Jet fuel price is on a steep increase, selling between N600 and N700 per litre, leaving the operators gasping for breath. This has been compounded by the depreciation of naira against the dollar, according to them.

The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) said the situation would continue to resort in flight disruption.

A member of the AON in a chat with our correspondent said the problem of high fares would persist as the Jet A1 crisis bites harder.

Speaking with our correspondent, the chief executive officer of TopBrass Airline, Captain Roland Iyayi, said while the current fare hike was unsustainable, passengers had to leave by it as the Jet fuel crisis continued unabated, adding that airlines have been running at a loss in recent times.

Nigerians shun road trips, motorists lament

The fear of kidnappers, bandits and unknown gunmen is the beginning of wisdom among Nigerians.

Findings by Daily Trust Saturday showed that many Nigerians have shunned road trips, while the few who do are constantly in fear.

Shehu Ali, who works with one of the federal government agencies in Abuja, said he rarely goes home to see his family.

“My family is in Kaduna and I used to go and see them every Friday and return to Abuja on Monday morning.

“I was doing this for over 10 years but it is no longer possible. I have been in Abuja for the past two months and I am not sure if I would travel in the nearest future.

“I call my wife twice a day, in the morning before I go to work and at night. She links me with the children. It is sad that the less than 200 kilometre Kaduna-Abuja road is not safe,” he said.

Another civil servant, Kabiru Sani said he has perfected plans to relocate his family to Abuja.

“They have been in Kaduna for over 20 years because life is cheaper there; schools are affordable and you can easily pay your hospitals bills.

“But the insecurity has forced me to stop travelling at the weekend and my wife and children are getting agitated with my absence.

“I have secured a house here in Abuja and they would soon join me. I know it is going to be hard but I have no option,” he said.

During a visit to one of the popular motor parks at Iyana Ipaja, Lagos, operators of interstate transportation service told our correspondent that there was a drastic drop in the number of people travelling from one state to another due to insecurity.

A 29-year-old driver identified as Captain Destiny, who works in God is Good Motors, said the rate at which they encountered armed robbers and kidnappers on the highway was unbearable, saying this has sent away many passengers.

He said, “I have been a driver for 29 years, from Lagos to Owerri and Port Harcourt. Because of what is happening right now, when we get to Onitsha we always face some problems like armed robbery and attacks. Barely two months ago, I was on my way coming from Owerri when they suddenly blocked the road along Uli to Ihiala and started shooting.

“For now, I don’t want to go there. At times, especially on Mondays, if you don’t quickly move yourself, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) will burn down your vehicle.”

Goodwill Bright Akpan from Akwa Ibom State, who works in Okeyson Motors, said there were many dark zones on the road, which have discouraged many people from driving.

He said, “We have some places on the highway we call dark zones. Places like the Ibadan interchange to link Shagamu. The bridge before Ijebu Ode, Onipetesi, Ofia, Ishiwa hill, Bypass, are terrible places. Auchi road is another dark zone, before you talk of the eastern region. That is a no-go-area where you can never predict when these boys will come out in broad daylight, and anybody they see, they bring the person down.”

Akpan said that unlike before when they used to move as early as 5:00am, they now leave their parks between 8am and 10am, depending on the availability of passengers.

“I am heading to Abuja, but as you can see, we are still waiting for many passengers. This will tell you the situation we are facing at the moment. We have few people travelling now. For many, if the trip is not important, they don’t go.”

Like road, like train

Daily Trust Saturday reports that the suspension of the Lagos-Kano passenger train service is one of the corollary effects of the insecurity across the country.

Every Friday, the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) operates the Lagos-Kano service, usually patronised by traders from the North.

While the NRC announced recently that it had suspended the operation, our correspondent learnt that the operation had been suspended as far back as May, due to insecurity.

A civil service, Mr Abdul Musa, an indigene of Kaduna who works in Kano, said he could not travel for the past two weeks.

He said, “The roads are not safe, so people are not taking chances. Even as I speak, I want to go to Kaduna, but I am scared.”

A staff at the Malam Aminu Kano Airport, Kano who spoke with our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, said, “Despite the exorbitant air fares, people are still flying because they don’t want to take chances.

“People are flying. If you go to the airports you might not see seats.

On Sunday, I bought a ticket at N100,000 from Kano to Abuja. Even when I got to the departure hall, it was filled.

“Is it not better for you, if you have the money, to pay N100,000 to Abuja than to pay N30million to kidnappers, and you will still suffer. Assuming you would pay the money and they leave you, it will be better, but you will still suffer. It is sad. We just have to pray,” he added.

(Daily Trust)


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