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Nigeria Slams $10bn Fine on Binance for Naira Manipulation

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Nigeria Slams $10bn Fine on Binance for Naira Manipulation

Nigeria’s government has fined cryptocurrency trading platform Binance $10 billion following its illegal dealing in the currency, the naira. This was confirmed by Bayo Onanuga, Special Adviser on Information and Strategy to President Bola Tinubu, on Friday morning in an interview with the BBC.

The presidential aide said the fine was demanded for the illegal operations of Binance which contributed hugely to the devaluation of the country’s currency, naira in recent times.

“The platform fixes the exchange rate for the country and it is an illegal rate. The CBN is the only authority that can fix the exchange rate for the country,” Onanuga was quoted as saying by BBC.

 He added, “Binance platform harbours people who fix the exchange rate which quickly affects the Nigerian economy for the time when Nigeria is trying to stabilize the economy.”

“Binance staff cooperated with the government to provide information. The Nigerian Government had been cracking down on Binance operations in the country lately.

Binance subsequently removed the naira from its peer-to-peer feature.  The feature, known as the P2P market, allows users, buyers, and sellers to transact without the intervention of a third party.

Bayo Onanuga had also said if not stopped, Binance would destroy the Nigerian economy because of the way it arbitrarily fixes foreign exchange rates.

Two employees of Binance were also detained by the office of the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu in Abuja as part of an investigation into the cryptocurrency exchange’s operations in Nigeria.

Their detention in Nigeria was in an attempt to curb naira speculation and steady its free fall by clamping down on cryptocurrency exchanges.

During the week, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Olayemi Cardoso, said $26 billion passed through Binance Nigeria from unknown sources and users in one year. He stated this on Tuesday in Abuja at the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting of the apex bank, the first since he assumed office in September 2023.

This followed the free fall of the naira and clampdown on Bureaux de Change by President Bola Tinubu’s administration in an attempt to steady the rapid decline. Cardoso said the government was “concerned that certain practices go on that indicate illicit flows going through a number of these entities, and suspicious flows at best”.

He continued, “In the case of Binance, in the last one year alone, $26 billion has passed through Binance Nigeria from sources and users who we cannot adequately identify.

“There is a lot that is going on now as a result of collaboration between the different agencies which include the EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission), the police and of course the office of the NSA (National Security Adviser) and in due course as we progress and have more information to share

“… we will certainly share and suffice to say we are determined to do everything it takes to ensure that we take charge of our market or put it differently, do not allow others to manipulate our market in a way that ends up distortionary and sub-optimizes for all Nigerians.

“We will not accept it and we will do everything possible to prevent any of these kinds of infractions from taking place.” #Nigeria Slams $10bn Fine on Binance for Naira Manipulation

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