The United States will be providing the Nigerian government with infrastructural support valued at $36.1 million to further strengthen the capacity of Nigeria’s arms forces to fight against terrorism.
‘The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Leonard, made this known at the induction of the jets the Nigerian Air Force’s fleet, a statement said on Tuesday.
According to her, this was one of the agreements reached with the Nigerian authorities as part of the purchase of the $500 million six A-29 Super Tucano jets, which recently arrived in Nigeria.
She was quoted as saying, “The total sale is valued at almost $500m, making it the largest FMS program in sub-Saharan Africa. The A-29 can perform intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and precision air-to-ground strikes, strengthening Nigeria’s ability to fight terrorism.
“A total of 64 pilots and maintainers from the Nigerian Air Force were trained to US standards with the US Air Force’s 81st Fighter Squadron at Moody Air Base in Georgia, USA. Training also emphasised the Law of Armed Conflict and civilian casualty mitigation, which are fundamental principles of the Nigerian military’s professional education and training.
“As part of the programme, the US Army Corps of Engineers is providing $36.1m in infrastructure support to the A-29s’ home base, Kainji Air Base, including covered magazines and aircraft sunshades, a new airfield hot cargo pad, perimeter and security fencing, airfield lights, and various airfield apron, parking, hangar, and entry control point enhancements.”
The United States Africa Command Public Affairs statement came amidst the claim that the induction was postponed.
The NAF had last week announced that the President, Major General, Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), would oversee the induction on Tuesday.