In the grip of a difficult security situation, Nigeria has for several years been increasing the purchase of military equipment to strengthen its army. In mid-April, the country had also obtained the green light from the United States to buy approximately $1 billion in equipment from Washington.
Nigeria’s military expenditure in 2021 increased by 56% compared to 2020. This was indicated by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) in its report on world military expenditure in 2021.
According to the institution, the first African economic power in terms of GDP spent $4.5 billion in 2021 to strengthen its army. According to SIPRI, this increase is a “response to Nigeria’s various security problems, such as attacks by Islamic extremists and separatist insurgents”.
Indeed, the country has been facing for several years a deleterious security climate, due to the terrorist groups Boko Haram and Islamic State in West Africa (ISWAP) to which have been added armed groups called “bandits”. Accustomed to mass kidnappings, these are reinforced thanks to ransoms obtained from the parents of the victims, or sometimes thanks to collaborations with terrorist groups.
Despite his promise to restore the country’s security situation, President Muhammadu Buhari, who is in the middle of his second term, is struggling to put an end to insecurity. However, his government has multiplied the purchase agreements for military equipment, the latest of which was made with the USA for an amount of approximately $1 billion.
In total, the African continent has spent $39.7 billion to strengthen its armies in 2021. In the sub-Saharan region, Abuja is the country that spends the most in the sector, but on the continent as a whole, it is the Algeria which occupies this place with approximately $9.1 billion spent last year.