A report by Reuters indicates that the Pentagon on Monday, August 28, notified the U.S. Congress that Nigeria is set to buy 12 Super Tucano A-29 planes and weapons worth $593 million (over N200 billion) It was specifically mentioned that Nigeria wants to utilize the planes for its fight against Boko Haram.
According to the report, the move was announced by the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency.
The Super Tucano A-29, an agile, propeller-driven plane with reconnaissance and surveillance as well as attack capabilities, is made by Brazil’s Embraer. Both countries hope that the propeller-driven warplanes — tailored for counterinsurgency operations — will bolster Nigerian efforts to combat Boko Haram. U.S. policymakers also want the sale to be a visible symbol of their strong desire to do more to help Nigeria combat terrorism.
Author, Matthew Page however took to Twitter to express his thoughts about the sale. Page lamented that lack of transparency in U.S. Nigeria policy and lack of transparency in Nigerian defense procurement is not ideal for the deal.
Meanwhile, the federal government has pledged to ensure the total de-radicalisation and rehabilitation of all ex-Boko Haram members before re-integrating them into the society in line with international best practices. The Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, made the pledge on Tuesday, August 22, in Abuja at a National Stakeholders’ Forum on Re-integration in the North-east organised by the Kukah Centre.