June 9, 2017 / 1:40 PM / 2 months ago

UPDATE 1-Nigeria's presidency to sign 2017 budget into law next week

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By Camillus Eboh and Felix Onuah

ABUJA, June 9 (Reuters) - Nigeria's presidency is expected to sign the 2017 budget into law next week, the speaker of the lower chamber of parliament said on Friday, in an effort to pull Africa's biggest economy out of its first recession in 25 years.

The OPEC member's recession was largely caused by low oil prices and militant attacks on Niger Delta energy facilities in 2016. Oil sales make up two-thirds of government revenue.

The budget must be signed by the president to become law. President Muhammadu Buhari has been on medical leave in Britain since May 7 and handed over power to his deputy, Yemi Osinbajo, in his absence.

"The 2017 Appropriations Bill ... will be signed into law early next week," said Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the House of Representatives, at an event to mark two years since parliament was convened after elections in 2015.

Two presidency sources, who did not want to be named, also said the budget would be signed next week.

The record 7.44 trillion naira budget passed by parliament's upper chamber on May 11 was bigger than the 7.298 trillion naira draft spending plan submitted by Buhari in December. A government official last week said the presidency and lawmakers were still in talks over the spending plan.

Last year's budget, passed in May 2016, was delayed for months due to disagreements between lawmakers and the presidency over spending plans that cut the supply of government money and deepened the economic crisis.

Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram; Editing by Tom Heneghan

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