US imposes stringent conditions on sale of war planes to Nigeria
United States President, Donald Trump has approved the sale of 12 A-29 Super Tucano fighter planes to Nigeria at the cost of $494 million to enable the country combat Boko Haram insurgency. But the conditions the US has given to Nigeria on the sale of the aircrafts are rather stringent.
Discover Africa learned that the Nigerian government is not comfortable with the conditions especially the part that Nigerians will not be a part of the aircrafts’ maintenance crew.
Other conditions include that Nigerians cannot study the production of the planes; the aircrafts will be transferred to Nigeria in 2020 and that Nigerian technicians will not be trained by U.S. staff.
The conditions, according to our source, means that while Nigeria will buy the war planes, Nigeria cannot proudly own the aircrafts.
“How can you buy an aircraft and you won’t be a part of the maintenance crew? No. That is too stringent”, our source said.
However, the Defence Minister, Mansur Dan-Ali told newsmen on Thursday that Nigeria will protest the stringent condition.
The sale of the planes has been controversial. Under Barack Obama, the former U.S. president, the aircraft deal had been held off due to concerns about the Nigerian military’s human rights abuses.
But President Donald Trump’s administration approved the sale to support Nigeria’s efforts to fight Boko Haram militants and to boost U.S. defense jobs, sources told Reuters last April.
“These conditions we will not accept,” he said. “[Nigeria’s] security council has approved the purchase of the aircrafts but some of the conditions America gave us are stringent. We will discuss reducing the conditions with the American ambassador, [and] payments will be made when the conditions are reduced.”
The VOA writes that the sale of the 12 aircraft, with weapons and service, includes thousands of bombs and rockets.
“The propeller-driven plane with reconnaissance, surveillance and attack capabilities, is made by Brazil’s Embraer.
A second production line is in Florida, in a partnership between Embraer and privately held Sierra Nevada Corp of Sparks, Nevada.
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 6 engine”