nigeria, russia ink mou

Nigeria, Russia ink MoU for military assistance

Nigeria and Russia have inked an agreement for the former to get nearly $1 billion in military equipment and assistance.

A statement was laid forth by the Nigerian Embassy that said the agreement “will provide a legal framework for the procurement of military equipment, after-sales services, preparation of personnel in technology transfer and educational establishments, among others.”

In July, it was reported that US lawmakers halted a proposal to sell almost $1 billion worth of weapons to Nigeria due to concerns about likely human rights abuses by the government.

The statement denies that the agreement reached with Russia was impacted by the failure to obtain such a deal with the US government.

“Nigeria is not looking for options but complementarity and mutual benefits,” says the statement.

Presidential spokesperson Garba Shehu said, “The fact that Nigeria has signed an agreement with Russia does not alter Nigeria’s cooperation and relationship with its strategic partners across the globe.”

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He added, “So to us, the inking of this MoU is in the progress of our bilateral cooperation with the Russian management in this area.”

The embassy statement says the pact is “a landmark development” in the bilateral relationship of countries.

Shehu said the training was one viewpoint of the military assistance agreement between the two countries.

“I believe that as soon as the contract comes into force, both partners will discuss what Nigeria’s needs are and how the Russian Federation can aid Nigeria in such a direction,” he said.

Nigeria uses some Russian fighter jets and helicopters, besides military equipment purchased from Western governments such as the United States.

The US sees Nigeria as a crucial partner in the combat against terrorism in Africa. Its security cooperation with Nigeria is intended to enable the Nigerian government to protect its citizens and defeat terrorist groups in a better way.