Binance Bribery Allegations Could Deter Foreign Investment in Nigeria

Africa-focused risk consultancy firm SBM Intelligence has issued a warning regarding the potential negative impact of bribery allegations against Binance CEO Richard Teng on Nigeria’s foreign investment efforts.

According to SBM Intelligence, the recent detention of Binance officials in Nigeria sends a discouraging message to foreign investors, which could undermine confidence in the country’s investment landscape.

On Tuesday, May 7, Cointelegraph reported allegations made by Teng that unknown persons sought a cryptocurrency bribe from Binance executives Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla before their detention on February 28, 2024.

Despite the Nigerian government’s denial, SBM Intelligence stresses the importance of a thorough investigation to uncover the truth and hold any guilty officials accountable. The consulting firm emphasized that perceptions of corruption among government officials can deter foreign investment, undermine the rule of law, and hinder efforts to combat poverty and inequality.

Nigeria’s government has shown opposition to cryptocurrencies despite their increasing popularity and acceptance among citizens, creating a gap between government views and public opinion.

SBM Intelligence suggests that individual citizens are attracted to cryptocurrencies due to the investment and transaction possibilities they offer, while the government and its agencies view them negatively as they diminish control over financial transactions and the economy.

It has been over two months since the Nigerian government detained two Binance executives, with one managing to escape. SBM Intelligence noted President Bola Tinubu’s efforts to attract investors by traveling to different countries but emphasized that detaining foreign business officials could make it challenging for the country to attract investors.

The ongoing narrative surrounding the arrest of the Binance executives reflects poorly on the Nigerian government, according to SBM Intelligence. Resolving the issue promptly, fairly, and diplomatically would benefit the Tinubu administration.