For more than 50 years, the United States and Nigeria have enjoyed a strong security partnership and friendship. The U.S.-Nigeria relationship is among the most important in sub-Saharan Africa, given Nigeria’s status as Africa’s most populous country, largest economy, leading oil producer, and our shared democratic values. The United States works closely with Nigeria, both bilaterally and through regional and multilateral fora like the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh/ISIS , and the African Union . Our joint efforts are focused on increasing cooperation on maritime and border security, military professionalization, counterterrorism efforts against Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa, defense trade, and strengthening governance of the security sector.
The Department of State obligated $6 million in International Military Education and Training (IMET) funding for the Nigerian military from FY 2016-FY 2020. Nigeria is also a partner in the Africa Military Education Program (AMEP) and has benefited from $1.1 million since FY 2016 to support instructor and/or curriculum development at Nigerian military schools. From FY 2016-FY 2020, $1.8 million was obligated for Nigeria in Foreign Military Financing to support maritime security, military professionalization, and counterterrorism efforts. Nigeria is an active member of the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP) and has benefitted from $10.6 million worth of training, equipment, and advisory support for counterterrorism efforts between FY 2017-FY 2020.
The United States has $590 million in active government-to-government sales cases with Nigeria under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system. FMS cases notified to Congress are listed on the DSCA website. Recent and significant sales include: in 2022 up to 12 AH-1Z Attack Helicopters worth $997 million, with $25 million of case funds allocated for institutional and technical assistance to the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) to continue its Air Ground Integration (AGI) program, which includes developing targeting processes that are legally compliant with International Humanitarian Law and the Laws of Armed Conflict; in 2017 up to 12 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft worth $497 million to support Nigerian military operations against Boko Haram and ISIS West Africa. The case includes special training on the Law of Armed Conflict and International Humanitarian Law. Nigeria also has an active Air-to-Ground Integration (AGI) program to mitigate the possibility of civilian harm. The persistent light attack and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities Nigeria is developing will involve more than just airplanes; Nigeria will have the trained personnel and sustainment infrastructure to ensure a robust capability for the aircrafts’ full-service lifetime.
In FY 2020, the United States also authorized the permanent export of over $1.2 million in defense articles to Nigeria via the Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) process. The top categories of DCS to Nigeria were Firearms; Aircraft and Related Articles; Military Training and Equipment; Military Electronics; and Fire Control equipment.
In 2011 and 2015 Nigeria received $15 million in defense articles granted under the Excess Defense Articles program, to include 24 Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles and two Hamilton-class U.S. Coast Guard high endurance cutters – the USCGC Chase and USCGC Gallatin – which entered service in the Nigerian Navy as Thunder and Okpabana in 2011 and 2014, respectively.
In 2016, the United States and Nigeria signed an Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement to exchange common types of support, including food, fuel, transportation, ammunition, and equipment. Since 2000, the United States has had a Status of Forces Agreement with Nigeria establishing the legal framework under which U.S. military personnel may operate when present in Nigeria.
The Department of Defense has also partnered with Nigeria since 2009 on its C-130 restoration program and on a multi-year institutional capacity building program to assist the Ministry of Defense with the development of policies and doctrine.
Since 1993, the United States has provided $2.14 million to support conventional weapons destruction and humanitarian mine action programs in Nigeria. In March 2017, the Department of Defense donated demining and EOD equipment to Nigeria and provides mine action training for Nigeria’s EOD teams at the Nigerian School of Military Engineering. According to the Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor , the full extent of contamination from landmines and other explosive remnants of war is not known, but incidents have been reported in Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa states.
Nigeria participates in multiple bilateral and multilateral military exercises with the United States, to include African Lion , Flintlock , and Obangame Express .
For further information, please contact the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at PM-CPA@state.gov, and follow the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs on Twitter, @StateDeptPM.