LAGOS: THE West African Power Industry Convention (WAPIC), held recently in Lagos, has been hailed as a phenomenal success.
According to orgnisers, the event “smashed all attendance records”, attracted many power industry heavyweights, celebrated the successes of the power sector privatisation but also openly discussed the challenges the region is facing with regards to its energy demands.
Event Director, Claire O’Connell, sid they had high expectations for this year’s WAPIC but those predictions were exceeded.
There were a record 350 attendees at the opening session and our overall attendee grew by more than 56 percent to 1 350, compared to 865 last year.
Exhibitor numbers more than doubled to 286.
“All in all, a ground breaking success,” O’Conell.
“However”, said O’Connell, “The overarching message from keynote speakers is that the privatisation exercise would be ‘more glamorous if we had power’ and that this robust sector cannot perform optimally without a robust transmission and distribution network.”
The panellists spoke openly about the problematic limited availability of gas which is undermining power generation, but discussions ended on a positive note that it is now up to us to create the right environment for foreign direct investment, the official said.
The highlight of the three-day event was the inaugural awards dinner where Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigerian Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, former Nigerian Power Minister Bart Okechukwu Nnaji and Ughelli Power were some of the popular winners.
The 11th edition of the long running conference and expo also enjoyed overwhelming support from the industry.
The global networking and telecommunications giant, Huawei, was the exclusive diamond sponsor for WAPIC.
Other leading industry names such as the Nigerian Genesis Electricity Limited (GEL) and Aiteo Power Generation and Distribution Company were platinum sponsors for the event.
Spintelligent, leading Cape Town-based trade exhibition and conference organiser, and the African office of Clarion Events, based in the United Kingdom organised the conference.
SOURCE: CAJ NEWS AGENCY