Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
Nigeria would take delivery of the 12 Tucanno Aircraft ordered from the United States in 2022, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, has said.
Osinbajo made the disclosure yesterday when he inducted two Augusta Helicopters recently purchased by the federal government from Italy.
The 12 Tucano aircraft, for which payment of $1 billion was made in 2017 by President Mohammadu Buhari drew a backlash from the National Assembly over the payment for the jet fighters without the approval of the parliament.
US President, Donald Trump, had during President Buhari’s visit to the United States announced that 2020 would be the delivery date for the aircraft.
Speaking as a guest of honour at the 55th Anniversary celebration of the Nigerian Air Force, Osinbajo said government would take delivery of the aircraft in 2022.
“I have no doubt that the employment of the newly acquired platforms, in addition to the Super Tucano aircraft, which would be delivered in 2022, would add impetus to the combat efficiency of the NAF”, he said.
The vice president, who lauded the contributions of the NAF in addressing the security challenges of armed banditry/cattle rustling and kidnapping in the North-east, said the efforts of the service, in conjunction with other security agencies, had started yielding positive results, thereby restoring Nigeria’s pride and honour amongst the comity of nations.
He affirmed that his administration would not relent until every spot within the territory of the country enjoys peace and order.