By Camillus Eboh
ABUJA, March 27 Nigeria is likely to pass the
2017 budget into law before May, a lawmaker who chairs a
committee on the spending plans in the upper chamber of
parliament said on Monday.
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 the impact of attacks
on energy facilities in its Niger Delta oil hub in 2016.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who has faced rising
disenchantment over his handling of Nigeria's economy, presented
his record 7.298 trillion naira ($23.2 billion) budget to
lawmakers in December. It must be agreed by lawmakers before the
president can sign it into law.
Senator Danjuma Goje, who chairs the budget appropriation
committee in the Senate, said last year's budget - signed into
law in May last year after months of wrangling between the
presidency and lawmakers - covered a period of 12 months and was
technically valid until midnight on May 5.
It was unlikely to have to be extended beyond May of this
year, he said.
"I believe before that date, the 2017 budget will be
passed," said Goje.
Nigerian lawmakers had previously said they wanted to pass
the budget before the end of March.
(Reporting by Camillus Eboh; Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram;
Editing by Catherine Evans and Mark Trevelyan)