The U.S. government has announced that it has approved the sale of attack aircraft and other military equipment to Nigeria to use in fighting terrorists operating in the country.
According to a statement released Thursday, April 14, by the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the equipment is to cost Nigeria about $997 million.
The approval comes after months of back and forth on the matter, with the US initially reported to have denied Nigeria’s request over human rights concerns.
The acquisition of the military equipment comes less than a year after the U.S. government supplied the country with 12 units of super Tucano aircrafts.
According to the statement released on April 14, 2022, the equipment requested to be purchased by the Nigerian government include 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) guidance sections.
Others are Night Vision Cueing Display (NVCD); commercial variant GPS with Standard Positioning Service (SPS), and communication equipment.
The equipment also include electronic warfare systems; AN/AVS-9 Aviator’s Night Vision Imaging System; M197 20mm machine gun; Target Sight System (TSS); support equipment; spare engine containers; spare and repair parts; tools and test equipment; technical data and publication.
The statement said the sum to be paid by Nigeria also covers the training of personnel in handling the equipment.
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 U.S. also stated that the training of Nigerian officials for the maintenance of the equipment will be for a period of five years and will require approximately three contractor support representatives to reside in Nigeria for a period of two years.