"Nothing Has Been Finalised Yet": FG Speaks on Reported $10 Billion Fine on Binance

"Nothing Has Been Finalised Yet": FG Speaks on Reported $10 Billion Fine on Binance

  • President Bola Tinubu's aide has refuted speculation about a $10 billion fine for crypto exchange Binance
  • Bayo Onanuga said his words were misrepresented and claims there hasn't been a definitive decision to fine Binance
  • Binance said that while it is committed to fostering a constructive relationship with the FG, it has no plans to pay fines for its staff or services

Legit.ng journalist Victor Enengedi has over a decade's experience covering Energy, MSMEs, Technology and the stock market.

Bayo Onanuga, the special adviser on information and strategy to President Bola Tinubu, emphasised that he did not assert that Binance, a cryptocurrency trading platform, had prior knowledge of a $10 billion penalty or that Nigerian regulators had made such a decision.

Onanuga's clarification follows earlier reports that the Nigerian government is seeking a minimum of $10 billion in restitution from Binance.

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FG not fining Binance
FG backtracks on $10million fine on Binance as company says it would not pay
Source: UGC

This demand comes amidst intensified efforts to regulate the cryptocurrency exchange platform to stabilise the value of the nation's domestic currency.

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Nigeria denies report of $10bn Binance fine

In a recent update by Leadership, Onanuga revised his statement, asserting that his words were misrepresented. He now clarifies that there hasn't been a conclusive decision regarding the imposition of fines on Binance.

Onanuga said:

“I said our government may impose heavy fines on Binance for what happened. I never said Binance had been informed about the fines or that it would definitely be $10 billion.
“I only said the amount may be imposed, which is because nothing has been finalised yet.”

Earlier in a series of tweets, Onanuga highlighted why the federal government must clamp down on Binance, accusing the crypto platform of being partly responsible for Nigeria's forex woes.

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Binance says no talk about $10bn fine

Meanwhile, Binance Holdings Ltd has denied allegations of engaging in talks with the Nigerian government concerning possible fines amounting to $10 billion.

It said that while it has recently engaged in discussions with the Nigerian government, there was no mention of a $10 billion fine.

It would also be recalled that two senior executives of the company were arrested and detained by officials of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), and their passports seized.

The company clarified its stance, stating that it is not open to negotiations with the Nigerian government regarding reinstating its recently suspended services or releasing its detained executives.

These individuals are held under suspicion of manipulating the naira, resulting in its devaluation and subsequent economic ramifications.

The company expressed its commitment to fostering constructive relationships with the Nigerian government and its people, aiming to reinstate its services within the country swiftly.

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However, it emphasised that it has no plans to pay fines for its staff or services.

Expert calls for caution

Speaking on the matter, Uzoma Udoka, a cryptocurrency expert told Legit.ng that the tussle between the Nigerian government and Binance calls for caution.

He said that the tension raises concerns about regulatory clarity in Nigeria's crypto space and its potential repercussions on innovation and investment in the country.

He said:

"Binance, known for its user-friendly platform and extensive offerings, has played a pivotal role in driving financial inclusion and empowering individuals to participate in the global digital economy.
"However, the government's regulatory scrutiny reflects broader challenges faced by authorities worldwide in grappling with the rapid evolution of cryptocurrency markets."

Udoka said that while regulatory oversight is essential to mitigate risks such as fraud and money laundering, excessive restrictions may stifle technological innovation and economic growth.

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NCC orders telcos to block Binance

In related news, Legit.ng reported that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has ordered telecom companies to restrict access to Binance and other cryptocurrency companies' websites.

This is as some industry experts insist the continuous fall of the naira may be linked with some manipulative operations of digital platforms like Binance and other digital assets platforms.

According to reports, digital asset platforms are frequently used to manipulate FX values by creating fictitious transactions that either drive up or down values.

Source: Legit.ng

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