Nigerian lower house passes 2017 budget: lawmakers

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari looks on during a joint news conference with Cameroon's President Paul Biya in Abuja, Nigeria, May 4, 2016. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

ABUJA  – Nigeria’s lower and upper parliamentary chambers passed the 2017 budget, set at 7.44 trillion naira ($24.4 billion), on Thursday, lawmakers said.

Both chambers had agreed to a higher volume than the draft worth 7.298 trillion naira budget submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari to lawmakers in December. The budget assumes an oil price of $44.5 a barrel and foreign borrowing of 175.9 billion naira and domestic borrowing of 1.488 trillion naira, lawmakers said.

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 Osinbajo.

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.


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