US President Donald’s Trump administration is pressing to sale of high-tech aircraft to Nigeria to help it fight militant Islamist group Boko Haram, despite concerns about human rights abuses committed by the West African state’s military, US officials have said.
The deal will see Nigeria buying up to a dozen Embraer A-29 Super Tucano aircraft for nearly $600m (£480m), officials added.
The US Congress is expected to receive formal notification of the deal within weeks, and will have to approve it.
Nigeria and the US discussed the deal during ex-President Barack Obama’s administration, but it did not materialise.
Nigeria says its military campaign against Boko Haram has been gravely affected by US restrictions.
The US has sent military advisers to help Nigeria tackle the militants, but under what is known as the Leahy Law it has not been able to sell arms because of alleged human rights violations carried out by Nigerian troops, although it was not a blanket ban on all equipment sales.
This law also prohibited other countries to sell weapon to Nigeria because of their existing agreements with the US.
Rights groups have repeatedly accused Nigeria’s troops of abuses, including extra-judicial killings.
In January, a Nigerian fighter jet mistakenly bombed a camp for displaced people in the north-east, killing dozens of people.