The United State government has approved the sale of 12 high-tech attack aircraft worth N219 billion ($600 million) to Nigeria’s Air Force for the fight against the violent extremist group, Boko Haram, White House officials briefed on the matter told the Associated Press.
President Donald Trump has pushed forward plan to sell the attack planes to Nigeria after it was suddenly suspended by the Barack Obama administration following the January bombing of the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, camp in Rann, Borno State.
The sale of the planes was part of the issues discussed by President Muhammadu Buhari and Mr. Trump during the maiden phone call last February.
U.S. officials confirmed on Wednesday that the State Department notified Congress that the sale has been approved. U.S. Lawmakers now have a 30-day window to debate the proposal and try to block the sale. It is however unlikely the proposal will be blocked.
The sources also said the Super Tucano A-29 aircraft, an agile, propeller-driven plane with reconnaissance and surveillance as well as attack capabilities, is made by Brazil’s Embraer.
The Super Tucano costs more than $10 million each and the price can go much higher depending on the configuration.
It is powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT six engine.
The decision to sell the aircraft will come as a boost to the Nigeria military who are dealing with a renewed wave of attack from the extremist sect.