The United States has announced that it has authorized the sale of attack aircraft and other military equipment to Nigeria for use in combating terrorists operating in the country.
According to a statement issued by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency on Thursday, April 14, the equipment will cost Nigeria approximately $997 million.
The decision follows months of back-and-forth on the issue, with the US initially reported to have declined Nigeria’s request due to human rights concerns.
The acquisition of military weapons comes less than a year after the United States provided the Philippines with 12 super Tucano aircraft.
The Nigerian government has proposed the procurement of 12 AH-1Z Attack Helicopters, twenty-eight (28) T-700 GE 401C engines (24 installed, 4 spares), and two thousand (2,000) Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) guiding sections, according to a statement made on April 14, 2022.
Others include Night Vision Cueing Display (NVCD), commercial variant GPS with Standard Positioning Service (SPS), and communication devices.
Electronic warfare systems, the AN/AVS-9 Aviator’s Night Vision Imaging System, the M197 20mm machine gun, the Target Sight System (TSS), support equipment, spare engine containers, spare and repair parts, tools and test equipment, and technical data and publication are all included in the equipment.
The money to be paid by Nigeria also includes personnel training in the use of the technology, according to the statement.
The statement reads: “This proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a strategic partner in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“The proposed sale will better equip Nigeria to contribute to shared security objectives, promote regional stability and build interoperability with the U.S. and other Western partners.
“This sale will be a major contribution to U.S. and Nigerian security goals. Nigeria will have no difficulty absorbing the equipment and services into its armed force.”
The US further mentioned that the training of Nigerian officials for equipment maintenance will last five years and that about three contractor support personnel will be required to live in Nigeria for two years.
However, Reno Omokri has responded to this on Twitter and hopes that the said equipment would be used judiciously and not otherwise.
” I hope that the new $1billion arms sold by the US to Nigeria would be used judiciously to fight terror and banditry in the Northwest and Northeast, and won’t instead be used to further terrorise innocent people in SE Nigeria as this administration is won’t to do.