The Minister of Defence, retired General Mansur Dan-Ali after a National Security Council meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, 26 January, 2018 at the Aso Rock Villa, revealed that the Federal Government has decided to invite the America ambassador review the stringent conditions given by the United States government for sale of 12 Super Tucano A-29 military aircraft to Nigeria, even with a payment deadline of February 20, 2018.
The contract sum is $494 million and includes training, where the facilities will be accommodated and continuous servicing but he explained that some of the conditions are the refusal of the US government to allow Nigerian technicians understudy their American counterparts; as well as the insistence on release of the aircraft only by 2020.
His words: “Some of the stringent measures include that we will start having them from 2020, which is two years from now. They are also thinking of not allowing our technicians to be part of the production inspection.
“But this is what we normally do in all the defence contracts – we send our personnel to go and understudy especially when it comes to specialized contracts; like in Russia, our personnel are permanently based there where the production is being done for MI-35 helicopters.”
Other issues discussed at the quarterly security meeting are: *to increase the strength of the Armed Forces to address manpower problem, the three services have in the last two years enlisted and recruited qualified Nigerians.
*The Ministry of Defence is also building befitting accommodation for members of the Armed Forces in the six geopolitical zones. Similar accommodations in Abuja were commissioned last month.
*The Military Pension Verification Exercise was conducted in all the 36 states and FCT to update its data payroll and ensure financial savings for the Government.
*The Minister also briefed the Council on the update of the Presidential visit to Royal Kingdom of Jordan from 2-3 December 2017, which provided an avenue for implementation of agreement for the procurement of Excess Defence Articles from Jordan, to modernise Nigerian military platforms.
*The Defence Minister expressed the need by the relevant security agencies to as a matter of urgency tackle the propagation of hate speeches, especially through the social media particularly by some notable Nigerians.