September 21, 2022 – San Francisco, California
As part of a drive to boost its contribution to the Nigerian economy, the Lekki Free Zone Development Company (LFZ) is in talks with Gluwa, a blockchain technology company.
The pair are looking to partner up and use blockchain to drive business collaboration, growth and sustainability between new and existing companies in the “free zone”. The partnership would also explore the creation of a virtual free zone within the Lekki Free Zone.
Tomiwa Idowu, Head of Strategy, Innovation and Special Projects at Lekki Free Zone, revealed that discussions are ongoing between LZF, the Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority and the Gluwa team.
In a statement, Idowu explained that the partnership, when finalized, will create a dashboard for the tokenization of non-fungible tokenized assets (NFTs) and provide digital asset-backed loans for new and existing businesses looking to finance operations and/or develop their activitiessimilar to OpenSea and Compound integration.
Idowu shared his vision for innovation in the commercial and industrial sector in Nigeria and Africa as a whole, ushering it into the modern information age with the Lekki Free Zone at the epicenter.
“I am extremely excited about the huge potential of such a partnership, which would further establish Lagos State as Africa’s leading sub-national in terms of innovation, economic development and revenue generation.”
He commended the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu as a beacon of progress and hope for the nation at large, adding:
“Our Governor has always been a firm believer in rapid development, which involves using technology to skip bureaucracy and get straight to solving immediate problems.”
Tae Oh, CEO of Gluwa, noted that the company is keen to partner with Lekki Free Zone as it is the largest and most developed free zone in Nigeria, close to the deep water port. as well as the Dangote refinery.
“Trade has been the foundation of the Nigerian economy, with annual volumes reaching billions of dollars.”
“We believe that the digitization of the sector can allow us to exploit its full potential. For example, a standard process for digitizing goods made or processed in the area in tandem with a Web 3.0 marketplace system will enable manufacturers to trade globally via blockchain.
“All trades will be registered and benefit from the incentives of the Lekki Free Zone, such as zero taxation and free movement of goods. As soon as the goods are cleared for export by the customs processing center of the zone, they will be shipped directly from the Lekki Free Zone via the deep water port.
“This will reduce delays, eliminate human error, exponentially increase Nigeria’s non-oil exports and maintain a positive trade balance for the country. While we are still working out the details and a specific framework with NEPZA, we believe this is the future of trade and commerce in Africa.
Gluwa is an open finance platform, connecting capital from developed markets to lending opportunities from emerging markets using blockchain technology. By providing the decentralized infrastructure rails to raise and disburse capital anywhere in the world, investors can use the Gluwa Invest platform to participate in debt financing deals with emerging market fintech lenders, earning up to 15% APD.
Aston Lee, Vice President of Business at Gluwa
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