By Camillus Eboh
ABUJA, March 27 (Reuters) - 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)