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Binance bribery allegations could impede foreign investment in this country, risk consultants say

binance-bribery-allegations-could-impede-foreign-investment-in-this-country-risk-consultants-say
Edited by
News
Binance bribery allegations could impede foreign investment in this country, risk consultants say

Binance’s new CEO alleges that Nigerian government officials took bribes — a claim that could hinder the nation’s attempts to attract foreign investment, according to SBM Intelligence.

On May 7, crypto.news reported that Binance CEO Richard Teng alleged that some unknown persons demanded a cryptocurrency bribe from its executives, Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, prior to their arrest in Nigeria on Feb. 28, 2024.

In a report shared with local media outlets, risk consultancy firm SBM Intelligence explained that the detention of those Binance officials, and the subsequent bribery allegations, sends a discouraging signal to potential foreign investors.

As a result, it undermines confidence in Nigeria’s investment landscape at a time when the nation’s economic outlook remains challenging.

Nigeria, Binance delegation

Gambaryan and his colleagues first visited Nigeria in early January as part of a delegation from Binance.

Their goal was to participate in meetings with Nigerian authorities to address concerns and seek clarity on issues regarding crypto regulations and compliance requirements.

On May 8, Nigeria’s federal government refuted Teng’s claims and accused Binance and its CEO of fabricating the bribery allegation in an attempt to interfere with a criminal investigation into the exchange through a misleading media campaign.

Despite the Nigerian government’s denials, SBM Intelligence indicated that when government officials appear corrupt or willing to engage in unethical behavior, it can deter foreign investment, weaken the rule of law, and impede efforts to address poverty and inequality.

The Nigerian government is highly opposed to cryptocurrencies, despite their growing acceptance.

According to SBM Intelligence, individual citizens are using cryptocurrencies because of the investing and transaction opportunities they provide. However, the Nigerian government remains opposed to cryptocurrencies.

The firm noted that it has been more than two months since the Nigerian government detained two Binance executives, one of whom escaped. SBM Intelligence further pointed out that President Bola Tinubu has been to many countries to attract investors.

However, it stated that holding foreign business representatives could make it difficult for the country to attract investors. SBM added:

“No matter the allegations against Binance, it is essential to remember that the story of one foreign business will serve as a cautionary tale to others. If Nigeria is tagged as a country where company officials can be solicited for bribes and then detained indefinitely, convincing investors to invest will become exceedingly challenging.”

The consultancy firm also stated that the ongoing narrative around the arrest of the Binance executives negatively affects the Nigerian government. It emphasized that resolving the matter quickly, fairly, and diplomatically will benefit the Tinubu administration.