The United States government has announced that it has approved the sale of attack aircraft and other military equipment to Nigeria for use in combating terrorists in the nation.
According to a statement issued by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency on Thursday, April 14, the equipment would cost Nigeria around $997 million.
The decision follows months of back-and-forth on the issue, with the US first believed to have declined Nigeria’s request due to human rights concerns.
The procurement of military weapons comes less than a year after the United States provided the Philippines with 12 super tucano aircrafts.
According to a statement issued on April 14, 2022, the Nigerian government has requested 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.
Night Vision Cueing Display (NVCD); commercial version GPS with Standard Positioning Service (SPS); and communication devices are more examples.
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 maintenance parts, tools and test equipment, technical data, and publications are all included.
According to the announcement, the money to be paid by Nigeria also includes personnel training in the use of the equipment.
The statement goes as follows: “This proposed sale will help the United States achieve its foreign policy and national security objectives by boosting the security of a vital partner in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“The proposed sale will better equip Nigeria to contribute to shared security objectives, improve regional stability, and strengthen interoperability with the United States and other Western allies.
“This transaction would make a significant contribution to US and Nigerian security objectives. Nigeria’s military forces would have no trouble accepting the equipment and services.”
The US further indicated that the training of Nigerian authorities for the maintenance of the equipment will last five years and that about three contractor support representatives will be required to live in Nigeria for two years.