The Interplay Between Nigeria's Refinery Operations and Audit Fees in the Banking Sector

Feranmi Olaseinde

Hatched by Feranmi Olaseinde

Sep 16, 2023

3 min read


The Interplay Between Nigeria's Refinery Operations and Audit Fees in the Banking Sector


Nigeria, a country with a thriving economy and diverse industries, is currently facing significant challenges in both its refinery operations and banking sector. In this article, we will explore the connections between the Port Harcourt Refinery's anticipated commencement of operations and the audit fees paid by Nigerian banks to leading auditing firms. By examining these two seemingly unrelated aspects, we can gain insights into the wider economic landscape and potential implications for the country's future.

Refinery Operations and Subsidy Removal:

The announcement of the Port Harcourt Refinery's upcoming production commencement in December has sparked debates among Nigerians. Some argue that the refinery should have been revived before the removal of subsidies, as its slow progress has already swallowed trillions of naira. This delay not only hampers the country's economic growth but also contributes to inflation. It is believed that if the Port Harcourt Refinery becomes operational before Dangote Refinery, the latter would have to adjust its prices accordingly. However, if Dangote Refinery starts production first, it would dictate the market price, potentially leading to sustained higher prices even with the Port Harcourt Refinery's entry into the market. These dynamics highlight the need for effective collaboration and decision-making among stakeholders to ensure maximum benefits for the economy.

The Banking Sector and Audit Fees:

In the first quarter of 2023, seven commercial banks listed on the Nigerian Exchange Group collectively paid N1.39 billion to auditing firms. These audit fees, which are determined by various factors such as company size, industry, corporate risk, profitability, and the duration of the audit, reflect the importance of comprehensive financial assessments. Access Holding Company emerged as the top bank in terms of audit costs, paying N606 million to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). The significance of these fees cannot be understated, as they serve to ensure transparency and accountability within the banking sector, ultimately fostering investor confidence and regulatory compliance.

Common Ground and Insights:

While refinery operations and audit fees may appear disparate, they share some commonalities. Both require careful planning, timely execution, and a commitment to quality. Moreover, they play essential roles in shaping Nigeria's economic landscape. The delays in refinery operations have contributed to inflation, affecting the prices of commodities. Similarly, if audit processes are not conducted diligently, it may lead to financial irregularities within the banking sector, compromising trust and stability. These shared challenges emphasize the need for proactive measures and collaborative efforts across sectors to address systemic issues and promote sustainable growth.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Foster Collaboration: The government, private sector, and relevant stakeholders must come together to streamline refinery operations and ensure timely completion. By fostering collaboration, potential bottlenecks can be identified and resolved, enabling the refinery to contribute to economic stability and reduce inflation.
  • 2. Enhance Financial Oversight: Nigerian banks should continue to prioritize comprehensive financial audits conducted by reputable auditing firms. By investing in robust internal control systems and engaging in regular audits, banks can maintain transparency, mitigate risks, and build trust with investors and regulators.
  • 3. Promote Economic Diversification: The challenges faced by the refinery operations and banking sector underscore the importance of economic diversification. Nigeria should explore opportunities in other sectors, such as agriculture, technology, and renewable energy, to reduce reliance on oil and strengthen overall economic resilience.


The interplay between refinery operations and audit fees in Nigeria sheds light on the interconnectedness of various aspects of the economy. The anticipated commencement of operations at the Port Harcourt Refinery and the audit fees paid by Nigerian banks reflect the country's ongoing efforts to promote economic stability and transparency. By addressing the challenges faced by both sectors and implementing the actionable advice provided, Nigeria can navigate these complexities and pave the way for sustainable growth and development.

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