“Multiple systemic factors further constrain the effectiveness of the Nigerian security force’s response to Boko Haram, notably security sector corruption and mismanagement, and some of these factors impede US support even for units that have been cleared for assistance.”
This revelation was made before the United States House of Foreign Affairs, Sub-committee on Africa’s hearing, entitled: ‘Human Rights Vetting: Nigeria and Beyond’ by the Specialist at African Affairs Congressional Research Service, Lauren Blanchard.
Blanchard who said that despite about N1trn ($5.8b) security budget the “Nigerian troops are not adequately resourced or equipped” to counter Boko Haram insurgency, said that among the cleared units were the Nigeria’s Speed Boat Service commando and the 101st Infantry Battalion, which the ACRS specialist said were best positioned to conduct hostage rescue operations.
“Both reportedly require significant additional training,” she explained even as she added that the security relationship between Nigeria and the US is being hampered by the lack of cooperation and systemic failure in Nigeria.
“The security relationship also has been hampered at times by a lack of cooperation from Nigerian officials and by systemic problems in the Nigerian military. Political and human rights concerns have been a prominent factor in shaping US-Nigeria relations for decades.
“State Department human rights reports have continued to highlight serious human rights violations by the Nigerian security forces every year. These violations include politically motivated and extrajudicial killings, excessive use of force, and torture,” Blanchard said at the hearing.
She stressed that the Nigerian government and its military had not been yielding to America’s suggestions, even as she said that the troops were “slow to adapt with new strategies, new doctrines and new tactics.”
She described Nigeria as “an extremely challenging partner to work with.”