* Buhari did not address reporters after meeting
* Cabinet approves plan to develop non-oil industry
* Council to be chaired by Buhari's deputy
(Adds details, background)
ABUJA, March 15 Nigerian President Muhammadu
Buhari chaired his first cabinet meeting on Wednesday since
returning from medical leave last week, approving a plan to
develop the West African nation's non-oil industry.
Buhari, 74, has had no public appearances outside the
presidential villa since coming back on Friday from London where
he had been treated for seven weeks for an undisclosed illness.
Buhari called for two ministers for Christian and Muslim
prayers before the national anthem was played at the start of
the closed-door meeting before reporters were asked to leave the
room, all of which is the usual practice at cabinet meetings.
He did not address the media after the two-hour meeting.
Trade and Industry Minister Okechukwu Enelamah told
reporters the cabinet had approved to set up a council working
with the private sector to expand Nigeria's non-oil industries.
The council will be chaired by Buhari's deputy Yemi
Osinbajo, who won plaudits for driving policy changes as acting
president during Buhari's medical leave.
In that time, Osinbajo travelled to the Niger Delta oil hub
in a bid to calm tensions with militants who have attacked oil
facilities - a region Buhari had been accused of neglecting -
and concluded an economic reform plan required for a World bank
loan. He later said he had Buhari's backing for his actions.
Buhari, who first led the country from 1983 to 1985 after
a military coup, was elected two years ago. Since then he has
travelled to Britain several times to consult doctors although
details of his illness have not been disclosed.
Top political posts in Nigeria are traditionally shared
to reflect the country's geographic and religious divisions.
Buhari is a northern Muslim, while Osinbajo is a pastor from the
mainly Christian south.
(Reporting by Feix Onuah and Alexis Akwagyiram; Writing by Ulf
Laessing; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Julia Glover)