CBN Gov says $26bn from unidentified people passed through Binance Nigeria in the last year

Temitope Akintade
President Tinubu appoints Olayemi Cardoso as the 11th CBN Governor
CBN Governor, Yemi Cardoso

Olayemi Cardoso, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said in the past 12 months, $26 billion has passed through crypto exchange Binance Nigeria from sources and accounts that were not adequately identified.

Cardoso made this statement at a Tuesday Press Conference at the 293rd Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting. The MPC is the highest policy-making committee of the CBN with the mandate to review economic and financial conditions in the economy, determine the appropriate stance of policy in the short to medium term, and review regularly, the CBN monetary policy framework and adopt changes when necessary.

The CBN and Cardoso have been under a lot of heat and pressure recently in connection with the depreciation of the local currency, the naira, and inflation which continue to adversely affect the nation’s economy. 

Forex

While addressing issues around these problems, Olayemi Cardoso talked about “illicit and suspicious flows” on some platforms as one of the factors behind naira depreciation. In the press conference, Cardoso said:

”in the case of Binance, In the last one year, 26 billion dollars has passed through Binance Nigeria from sources and users who we cannot adequately identify.”

According to him, the CBN has a responsibility to protect Nigerians and is now collaborating with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Police, and the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA). He added that in due course, information would be provided when they are available while also announcing his resolve to prevent market manipulation. 

CBN blames Binance for the naira depreciation 

A development that has been making waves recently is the alleged connection between USDT trading on Binance and the fall of the Naira in Nigeria. 

Last Wednesday, the Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga urged the central bank and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to clamp down on platforms like Binance and other cryptocurrency companies for alleged manipulation of the foreign exchange market.

In a statement issued on X (Twitter), Bayo said Binance blatantly sets exchange rates for Nigeria and hijacks the CBN’s role, adding that it is a platform that suffers access limitations from multiple jurisdictions, such as the US, Singapore, Canada, and the UK. According to him, crypto exchanges like Binance and Kucoin ought to be prohibited from Nigeria’s cyberspace.

With that narrative gaining steam, the Central Bank of Nigeria, in conjunction with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) directed all telecommunications companies in the country to restrict access to crypto companies’ websites and applications on Wednesday 

On Thursday, Bayo Onanuga called an X (Twitter) user who posted about using VPNs to circumvent the ban an “economic hitman working with crypto sites to destroy our country.”

Naira free fall: Nigerian authorities finally ban access to crypto exchanges

Read here:

Naira free fall: Nigerian authorities finally ban access to crypto exchanges

Apparently, the Nigerian authorities are making this move to avert what it sees as continuous manipulation of the FX market, as part of efforts to avert the free fall of the local currency. Just like the statement from the CBN Governor on Tuesday implies, they believe that speculators use the p2p marketplaces of crypto platforms to significantly weaken the naira.

As widespread and as disturbing as this notion is, we have written an explainer on why USDT is and is not capable of influencing the rate of the dollar in Nigeria.

In the explainer, we said in the grand scheme of things, blaming Binance, specifically USDT trading, for the Naira’s fall oversimplifies a complex economic scenario. Binance operates within a global market, and the rise of the dollar against the Naira is a multifaceted issue with roots deep in economic policies, global trends, and domestic decisions.

Read here:

Here is why USDT trading on Binance P2P is not the cause of the Naira free fall


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