(Adds quotes, details)
By Felix Onuah
ABUJA, March 14 Nigerian lawmakers aim to pass
the 2017 budget by the end of March, the president of the upper
house of parliament said on Tuesday, following a meeting with
President Muhammadu Buhari.
The budget lays out plans to pull Africa's largest economy
out of its first recession for 25 years, largely prompted by low
global prices for the oil it produces and by attacks on energy
facilities in the OPEC member's Niger Delta oil hub last year.
Buhari, a 74-year-old former military ruler who has faced
rising disenchantment over his handling of Nigeria's economy,
presented his record 7.298 trillion naira ($23.21 billion)
budget to lawmakers in December.
"This month is our deadline to finish work on the budget and
return it to the executive," Senate President Bukola Saraki said
after the meeting with Buhari and the head of parliament's lower
house. "We are working very hard to ensure we meet that
The budget must be agreed by lawmakers before the president
can sign it into law.
The 2016 budget became law in May last year after being
delayed by several weeks of wrangling between the government and
Saraki said he had also briefed Buhari at their meeting on
the activities of parliament during the president's lengthy
absence due to illness.
Buhari resumed his presidential duties on Monday after
spending seven weeks in Britain on medical leave for an
Saraki said the issues discussed with Buhari had included
"stability in the Niger Delta" and the $1 billion Eurobond
issued by Nigeria last month.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo drove policy implementation in
Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation, during Buhari's absence.
($1 = 314.5000 naira)
(Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram; Editing by Gareth Jones)