LAGOS – Britain is considering a request to sell military equipment to Nigeria to help it fight Boko Haram Islamist militants, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Thursday.
British soldiers were already training Nigerian 28,000 troops confronting the militants in the northeast, Johnson told Reuters in the commercial capital Lagos.
“They have put out a request for more help with materiel – equipment of one kind and another. We are going to look at that,” he said.
“We will look at that very seriously on counter-IED provision, on a request for more help with attack helicopters, for instance. Let’s have a look at what we can do,” he added, without going into further detail.
Boko Haram militants have killed more than 20,000 people, forced around 2 million to flee and attacked Nigeria’s neighbours in a campaign to carve out an Islamist caliphate.
Britain’s Foreign Office was unable immediately to provide details of military sales to Nigeria in the last few years.
The Pentagon notified the U.S. Congress this month of the sale to Nigeria of 12 Super Tucano A-29 planes and weapons worth $593 million, to help it fight Boko Haram, .
Johnson travelled to Maiduguri, the northeast Nigerian city at the heart of the insurgency, on Wednesday and met Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, in the capital, Abuja, earlier on Thursday.