US President Donald Trump has confirmed the sale of 12 Super Tucano A-29 warplanes and weapons to Nigeria to help fight terrorism.
According to a communique from the Nigerian Presidency, the US leader confirmed the deal when he held a bilateral meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday in Washington.
President Trump also confirmed helping Nigeria with intelligence cooperation and military training to combat insurgency and militias.
“We are also helping our Nigerian partners by facilitating intelligence, cooperation and providing training and military equipment to Nigerian forces.
"For example, we recently sold Nigeria 12 US A-29 Super Tucano aircraft, great aircraft, in the first ever sale of American military equipment to Nigeria," says communique.
President Buhari had earlier come under criticism over the purchase of the Tucano aircraft with some Nigerian senators pushing for his impeachment.
The Senators, during a plenary last Thursday, asked their leader, Mr Bukola Saraki, to invoke Section 143 of the constitution against President Buhari’s approval of the extra-budgetary spending of $496 million to purchase the aircraft.
However, the President Buhari Campaign Organisation spokesman, Mr Festus Keyamo, defended the decision, saying it was within the doctrine of necessity.
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Mr Keyamo also said that the Trump administration was committed to ending the scourge of human trafficking and smuggling.
President Trump was further quoted saying he would like to visit Nigeria and hailed efforts being made to improve the country.
“I would very much like to visit Nigeria. It is an amazing country and in certain ways, I hear from the standpoint of the beauty of a country, there is no country more beautiful.”
President Buhari expressed gratitude to the US for agreeing to supply the fighter jets.
A long history
Regarding the alleged US President's slur against Africa, President Buhari said: “I am very careful with what the press says about others and myself.
"I am not sure whether that allegation against the President (Trump) was true or not. So, the best thing for me is to keep quiet.”
He said that Nigeria and the US shared a long history of close and cordial political, economic, military, social and cultural cooperation.
The two countries maintain a strategic partnership for peace and security, conflict resolution as well as the global fight against terrorism, he said.