• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
businessday logo


Nigeria wants Binance to pay $10bn fine

Nigeria wants Binance to pay $10bn fine

Nigeria is demanding a $10 billion retribution fee from Binance.

Bayo Onanuga, the special adviser on information and strategy to President Bola Tinubu, disclosed this on Friday morning in an interview with the BBC. Onanuga alleged that the crypto platform profited from illegal transactions in the country. This comes amid a crackdown on Binance for allegations of aiding currency speculation in the country.

The crypto platform’s trails in Nigeria have recorded plenty of twists in recent times. The country has since restricted the platform’s website.

Read also: Binance crackdown raises fresh concerns in crypto-crazy Nigeria

The special adviser, who has been vocal against the crypto platform, claimed that Binance is not registered in the country and alleged that people used the platform to fix the dollar-naira rate. He further disclosed that the crypto platform’s team is cooperating with the government.

This fine comes barely 48 hours after the news broke that the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in Nigeria has detained two Binance executives. Nigeria believes that Binance has aided speculative activities, contributing to the steep devaluation of its currency, the naira.

While appearing on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday, Onanuga claimed that the government had to move against Binance to prevent it from destroying the economy.

He said, “If we don’t clamp down on Binance, Binance will destroy the economy of this country. They just fix the rate.

“We have saboteurs. Look at what Binance is doing to our economy. That is why the government moved against Binance. Some people sit down using cyberspace to dictate even our exchange rate, hijacking the role of the CBN.”

The crypto platform has maintained that it is not responsible for fixing foreign exchange rates. In an email to its customers last week, it said, “It is important to note that foreign exchange rates are influenced by various complex factors, which Binance has no influence on.”

The firm has also affirmed its commitment to “working hand in hand with local authorities, lawmakers, and regulators to ensure we act on non-compliance.”

While revealing that $26 billion has flowed through Binance Nigeria in one year, Olayemi Cardoso, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), confirmed that there is an ongoing collaboration between different agencies, including the Police, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and the ONSA.

Read also: $26bn flowed through Binance Nigeria in one year — CBN

With this fine on Binance, Nigeria follows in the footsteps of the US and other countries that have also fined the platform. Recently, the firm paid $4.3bn in penalties to US authorities after pleading guilty to criminal charges related to money laundering and violating international sanctions rules.

In 2022, the Dutch central bank fined the platform more than €3 million for offering services without proper registrations.