SBM Intelligence, an Africa-focused risk consulting firm, warned:

SBM Intelligence, an Africa-focused risk consulting firm, has warned that bribery allegations made by Binance CEO Richard Teng against Nigerian government officials could derail foreign investment efforts in the country.

In its assessment of recent events and their economic impacts, shared with media publications, SBM Intelligence noted that the circumstances surrounding the detention of Binance officials in Nigeria send a depressing message to foreign investors, potentially undermining confidence in the country’s investment landscape.

On Tuesday, May 7, Cointelegraph reported that Ting alleged that some unidentified persons sought a cryptocurrency bribe from its executives, Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Angarwala, before their arrest on February 28, 2024.

Despite the Nigerian government’s denials, SBM Intelligence stresses the importance of a thorough investigation to uncover the truth and hold any guilty officials accountable. The consulting company said:

“When government officials are perceived as corrupt or willing to engage in unethical behavior, it can deter foreign investment, undermine the rule of law, and hinder efforts to combat poverty and inequality.”

The Nigerian government has strongly opposed cryptocurrency, which is at odds with its growing popularity and acceptance among citizens. This highlights the gap between the views of the government and public opinion.

SBM Intelligence notes that individual citizens are attracted to cryptocurrencies because of the investment and transaction possibilities they offer. However, the government and its agencies negatively view cryptocurrencies as they reduce their control over financial transactions and the economy.

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The company noted that it has been more than two months since the Nigerian government detained two Binance executives, and one of them managed to escape. SBM Intelligence also noted that President Bola Tinubu has traveled to different countries to attract investors.

However, she stressed that the detention of foreign business officials may make it difficult for the country to attract investors. SBM added:

“Regardless of the allegations against Binance, it is essential to remember that the story of one foreign company will serve as a cautionary tale for others. If Nigeria is designated as a country where corporate officials can be recruited for bribes and then detained indefinitely, convincing investors to invest will become extremely difficult.

The consulting firm also stated that the ongoing narrative surrounding the arrest of Binance executives reflects poorly on the Nigerian government. She stressed that resolving the issue expeditiously, fairly and diplomatically would benefit the Tinubu administration.

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