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FX Crisis: Tinubu’s SA recommends ban on Crypto, Binance and Others

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Bayo Onanuga, Special Adviser on Information and Strategy to President Tinubu, has recommended a ban on all cryptocurrency exchange platforms.

He said this on Wednesday in response to recent speculation regarding Binance’s alleged collaboration with the Nigerian government to control trading on its platform.

Through an X post, he addressed concerns raised by a user identified as Brother Bernard @Mikael C Bernard, who criticised the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and National Security Adviser on Finance for allegedly imposing a cap on traders selling USD tokens for Naira. Onanuga questioned the user’s motives and patriotism.

On Tuesday, the X user had expressed scepticism about the government’s efforts to stabilise the Naira, stating that blocking Binance would only prompt traders to find alternative methods. He noted that the entire policy was “absolutely ridiculous” and predicted the Naira’s decline to zero.

In a counter-attack, Onanuga said he investigated the user’s online activities and found an affiliation with President Tinubu’s political opponents.

According to him, Bernard shared Naira-Dollar rates from unspecified platforms and later disclosed that people were migrating to Telegram, where Naira was reportedly traded at N1900-N1950 per US dollar.

In a recent post on X, Bernard reported that Binance, after removing the initial cap, instituted a new cap at N1892 with a trading range of N1392 to N1892. He expressed dissatisfaction, accused Binance of playing games with Nigerians, and urged traders to explore other alternatives.

In response, Onanuga highlighted Binance’s controversial position in various jurisdictions and restrictions in countries such as the United States, Japan, Singapore, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Regulatory bodies in these nations have imposed bans or limitations on Binance due to non-compliance with regulatory standards.

“Binance which is blatantly setting exchange rate for Nigeria, hijacking CBN role, is a cryptocurrency trading platform, and suffers access limitations from multiple jurisdictions, such as the US, Singapore, Canada and the UK”, he remarked.

Calling for regulatory action, Onanuga suggested banning cryptocurrency platforms, including Kucoin and Bybit, from operating in Nigeria.

In his words:

“Binance, facing regulatory showdown in many countries, and causing disruptions in the currency market, should not be allowed to dictate the value of the Naira, not on its crypto exchange platform. Other crypto platforms such as Kucoin, and Bybit should be banned from operating in our cyberspace. FX platform Aboki should be re-banned.

The EFCC and the CBN should move against these platforms trying to manipulate our national currency to Ground Zero. Crypto should be banned in our country or else this bleeding of our currency will continue unabated.”

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