US government is likely to sell $600 million worth 12 Embraer A-29 Super Tucano aircraft with sophisticated targeting gear for anti-Boko Haram operations.
The move includes sale of high-tech aircraft to Nigeria for its campaign against Boko Haram Islamic extremists, Stars And Stripes reported today.
Congress is expected to receive formal notification by next weeks, resuming a deal with Nigeria that the Obama administration had considered to approve at the very end of Barack Obama's presidency.
The move follows despite concerns over abuses committed by the African nation's security forces, according to U.S. officials.
Though President Donald Trump has made clear his intention to approve the sale of the aircraft, the National Security Council is still working on the issue. Military sales to several other countries are also expected to be approved but are caught up in an ongoing White House review.
Nigeria has been trying to buy the aircraft since 2015. The Nigerian air force has been accused of bombing civilian targets at least three times in recent years.
In the incident, a fighter jet on Jan. 17 repeatedly bombed a camp at Rann, near the border with Cameroon, where civilians had fled from Boko Haram. About 100 to 250 civilians and aid workers were killed, according to official and community leaders' counts.
This bombing occurred on the same day the Obama administration intended to officially notify Congress the sale would go forward. However, it was abruptly put on hold. Days later, Trump was inaugurated.
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, expressed his support last week for the A-29 deal to Nigeria as well as the sale of U.S.-made fighter jets to Bahrain that had been stripped of human rights warnings imposed by the Obama administration.
The A-29 sale would improve the U.S. relationship with Nigeria, Africa's largest consumer market of 170 million people, the continent's biggest economy and its second-largest oil producer.
Nigeria also is strategically located on the edge of the Sahel, the largely lawless semi-desert region bridging north and sub-Saharan Africa where experts warn Islamic extremists like the Nigeria-based Boko Haram may expand their reach.