The sale of military weapons worth $997 million to Nigeria has been approved by the United States.
The weaponry includes 12 attack helicopters, 2,000 advanced precision k#ll [email protected] system guiding sections, and a night vision imaging system, according to a statement released by the US Department of Defense on Thursday.
The decision follows months of back-and-forth on the issue, with the US initially denying Nigeria’s request due to worries over human rights.
However, Lai Mohammed, the minister of information, said at the time that no such agreement had been reached with the US.
The statement also indicated the sale of firearms is part of efforts to improve Nigeria’s security.
“The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Nigeria of AH-1Z [email protected] Helicopter Related FMS Acquisitions and related equipment for an estimated cost of $997 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today,” the statement read.
The statement also revealed that the package includes $25m for human rights-related training, according to YahooNews. “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 forces.”