ABUJA May 9 Nigeria's upper house of parliament
aims to consider the government's 2017 budget on Thursday, the
Senate president said, and could approve the spending plan the
same day in the next stage of its marathon passage into law.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who has faced rising
disenchantment over his handling of Africa's largest economy,
presented his record 7.298 trillion naira ($23.24 billion)
budget to lawmakers in December.
"We will send out copies to you (senators) and the report
will be considered on Thursday," said Senate President Bukola
Saraki. The budget could be passed on Thursday if senators do
not seek to make changes.
A document published by the lower house, which also has yet
to approve the budget's contents, on Tuesday said the spending
plan now totalled 7.44 trillion naira.
The budget must be passed by lawmakers before the president
can sign it into law. President Buhari is on medical leave in
Britain and on Sunday handed over power to his deputy Yemi
Nigeria is in its second year of recession brought on by low
oil prices which have slashed government revenues, weakened the
naira currency and caused chronic dollar shortages.
Last year's budget - passed in May 2016 - was delayed for
months due to disagreements between lawmakers and the
presidency, cutting the supply of government money and deepening
the economic crisis.
(Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)