FX Crisis: Nigeria May Slam $10bn Fine on Binance

March 1, 2024

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nigerian government may be considering a $10 billion fine on Binance, a crypto exchange platform, amid a crackdown on crypto platforms in desperate moves to restore the nation’s battered foreign exchange (FX) market.

This information was disclosed by Mr Bayo Onanuga, who is the Special Adviser on Information and Strategy to President Bola Tinubu, in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on Friday morning.

According to the President’s aide, this was necessary as the Nigerian government believes Binance profited substantially from its “illegal transactions” in the country while the nation suffered huge losses.

Mr Onanuga claimed that Binance is not registered in Nigeria and has no presence in the country.

He also alleged that people used the platform to arbitrarily fix Dollar-Naira rates, adding that this has negatively impacted the value of the local currency.

He explained further that the Binance team were already cooperating with the Nigerian government by providing useful information, and had already suspended naira-related transactions on the platform.

This development is happening after the country established a joint task force to clamp down on parties it believes are responsible for the losses being experienced in the FX market.

Earlier this week, the Nigerian authorities opened dialogue with Binance representatives and in the process, it requested the executives to provide data relating to transactions involving the Nigerian Naira on the Binance platform in the last seven years.

They also demanded that some other data relating to Nigeria be deleted from the Binance platform.

However, a refusal from the Binance team led to their detention, and it is believed that they are still in custody.

The Nigerian government has now obtained a court warrant to detain the officials for at least 12 days in the first instance, according to a report by Premium Times.

Nigeria decided to move against Binance and other crypto firms following unsubstantiated claims that currency speculators and money launderers were using them to execute criminal activities.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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