NIGERIA is planning to buy military equipment from Russia, Defence Minister Mansur Dan-Ali said yesterday.
On the shopping list are MiG fighters, Yak-130 aircraft, artillery equipment and armoured vehicles.
Dan-Ali was quoted by Sputnik, a Russian news agency, as saying: “The Russian equipment that could be of our interest are MiG fighters and some artillery equipment.
“We are here (at International Army Games-2017) to have a look. We have identified some items, like the Kalashnikov modern, new rifles and also avionics, helicopters and some other mine-resistant protected vehicles.
“We also looked at the Yak-130 jet and also we are thinking of how to go about it. We just had a look and now when we go back home, we will look at some of its specifications before we sit down for negotiations.”
On military supplies from Russia, the minister explained the ongoing deliveries of helicopters to Nigeria within the framework of the 2016 agreement.
He said: “Basically, we went for Mi-35 helicopter last year. We have taken two already and are expecting to get another two, early next year. All in all, we have about 12 of them.”
The minister said the Federal Government plans to participate in next year’s International Army Games.
His words: “We shall participate in the International Army Games. As I have said earlier, this agreement that we have just signed entails closer cooperation between the two states.
“We are looking at exchange programmes, training and exercises. Since 2006, we have been pushing for it in order to facilitate training of personnel and exchanges of ideas between our two militaries.”
On Tuesday, Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu met with Dan-Ali on the sidelines of the 2017 International Army Games and invited the Nigerian side to participate in the game next year.
Both countries also signed an intergovernmental agreement on military cooperation.