I have today laid before Parliament a Ministry of Defence departmental minute describing a gifting package which the UK intends to make to the Government of Nigeria.
This gift, a grant in kind, is comprised of a range of equipment intended to equip Nigerian army specialists facing Boko Haram militants in North-East Nigeria. Improvised explosive devices (lEDs) are an insidious and pervasive threat faced daily by Nigerian military personnel deployed in the struggle against Boko Haram. Not only do they pose a significant threat to the lives of Nigerian soldiers, but their impact on humanitarian access is severe, and if left unaddressed they will threaten civilian lives for many years to come.
The equipment granted by the UK, including metal detectors and other specialised C-IED equipment, meets a specific request by the Nigerian armed forces for C-IED assistance. It will complement the delivery of UK military training, help meet an identified operational requirement, and, most importantly, it will help save lives.
The departmental minute, which I have today laid before Parliament, describes a gifting package to the Nigerian armed forces comprised of priority items that provide immediate benefits. These items are metal detectors, binoculars, equipment to access and manipulate suspect devices, and equipment to facilitate their safe disposal.
Subject to completion of the departmental minute process, delivery is expected to be undertaken over the coming weeks. The total cost of this proposed package of equipment is approximately £775,000.