FG Not Aware Of $875m Arms Deal Blocked By US Lawmakers – Lai Mohammed
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed said the Federal Government is not aware of any $875 million ammunition deal with the United States which is being purportedly blocked by some lawmakers in that country.
KanyiDaily recalls that some US lawmakers were alleged to have stopped a proposed sale of $875 million worth of military arms to Nigeria over alleged human rights abuse by the present Nigerian Government.
According to Foreign Policy, top Democrat and Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have delayed clearing a proposed sale of 12 AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters and accompanying defence systems to the Nigerian military.
The report noted that the proposed arms sale included 28 helicopter engines produced by GE Aviation, 14 military-grade aircraft navigation systems made by Honeywell, and 2,000 advanced precision kill weapon systems—laser-guided rocket munitions.
The US lawmakers were said to be stalling the proposed sale citing the drift of the present government in Nigeria towards authoritarianism and human rights violations, among others.
FG Not Aware Of $875m Ammunition Deal With US
Reacting to the report while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja, Lai Mohammed said there was no contract of such nature and sum between Nigeria and the US.
He said the only ammunition deal between the two countries is the 12 Super Tucano attack helicopters of which six had been delivered, noting that the relationship between Nigeria and the US is smooth and waxing stronger.
“There is no contract of arms between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the United States of America today apart from the 12 Super Tucano attack helicopters of which six had been delivered,” the minister said.
“We are quite satisfied with the progress and cooperation that we received from the government of the US on this issue. As a matter of fact, six of the Tucano helicopters will be launched on August 3 this year.
“We are not aware of the so-called $875million arms contract or some helicopters which they said some lawmakers in the US are trying to persuade the president of the US not to honour. The relationship between Nigeria and the US is smooth and waxing stronger.”
This comes two months after CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele revealed that Nigeria is expecting 12 fighter jets from the US to help address the rising security challenges in the country.