Nigeria’s plans to acquire 12 Super Tucano fighter jets worth $496 million from the United State to fight insurgency in the country is underway as payments have been concluded.
The A-29 ground attack aircrafts, which will be used by the country’s military to fight ongoing tensions by the Boko Haram sect in the North Eastern region of the country, will be delivered by the United States government in 2020 after the Nigerian government concluded payments worth N153 billion (about $500 million).
According to the Defense Minister, Mansur Dan-Ali, the United States meted out some stringent terms to be met before the sale of the aircrafts could be concluded. Some of these conditions include the non-inclusion of Nigerian military personnel during their manufacture.
Talks for the acquisition of the aircraft’s began in the previous administration and the proposed fighter Jets are still under constructions and after successful assembling, it will be delivered from Florida before 2020 comes to an end. An unnamed U.S government official stated in an interview with Guardian Nigeria.
Controversies trailed the Nigerian government’s acquisition of the planes when Dan-Ali reportedly disclosed that the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari had approved $1 billion in a new expenditure for arms and other equipment for the country’s security agencies. The country’s Senate President Bukola Saraki was quoted to have expressed his displeasure saying, “In a good environment, such an issue needed to have been discussed with lawmakers.”
The Boko Haram insurgency began in Nigeria in 2009 when the jihadist rebel group Boko Haram started an armed rebellion against the government.