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By Camillus Eboh and Felix Onuah
ABUJA, June 9 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)