September 21, 2022 – San Francisco, California
As part of efforts to boost its contribution to the Nigerian economy, the Lekki Free Zone Development Company (LFZ) is in talks with Gluwa, a blockchain technology.
The pair are looking to partner and use blockchain to drive trade collaboration, growth and sustainability among new and existing ‘free zone’ businesses. 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 the Lekki Free Zone disclosed that talks are ongoing between LZF, Nigeria’s Export Processing Zones Authority and the Gluwa team.
In a statement, Idowu explained that the partnership, once finalized, will create a dashboard to tokenize commodities into non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and provide asset-backed digital loans to new and existing businesses looking to finance operations and/or expand their businesses.similar to OpenSea and Compound integration.
Idowu shared his vision for innovating the trade and industrial sector in Nigeria and Africa as a whole, bringing it into the modern information age with the Lekki Free Zone at the epicenter.
“I am extremely excited about the enormous potential of such a partnership, which would further establish Lagos State as a leading sub-national African state in terms of innovation, economic development and revenue generation.”
He commended the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Ola, 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 red tape and go straight to solving immediate problems.”
Tae Oh, Chief Executive Officer at Gluwa, noted that the firm is eager to partner with the Lekki Free Zone as it is the largest and most developed free zone in Nigeria with proximity to the deep sea port as well as the Dangote refinery.
“Trade has been the backbone of the Nigerian economy, with annual volumes running into the billions of dollars.”
“We believe that digitalization of the sector can enable us to use its full potential. For example, a standard process for digitizing goods produced or processed within the zone in tandem with a Web 3.0 market system will allow manufacturers to trade globally via blockchain.
“All trades will be registered and benefit from Lekki Free Zone incentives such as zero taxation and free movement of goods. As soon as the goods are cleared for export by the Customs Clearance Center within the zone, they will be shipped directly from the Lekki Free Zone via the deep sea port.
“This will reduce delays, eliminate human errors, exponentially increase Nigeria’s non-oil exports and maintain a positive trade balance for the nation. While we are still working out the fine details and specific framework with NEPZA, we believe this is the future of trade and commerce in Africa.”
Gluwa is an open financial platform, which connects capital from developed markets to lending opportunities in emerging markets using blockchain technology. Providing a decentralized infrastructure 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% APY.
Aston Lee, Vice President of Operations at Gluwa