Nigerian Business Giant Tony Elumelu to Open Annual West African Power Industry Convention in Lagos in November

Well-known global business leader, financier, entrepreneur, investment guru and philanthropist Tony Elumelu
Well-known global business leader, financier, entrepreneur, investment guru and philanthropist Tony Elumelu

Well-known global business leader, financier, entrepreneur, investment guru and philanthropist Tony Elumelu is heading up a high-level list of power experts who will address this year’s West African Power Industry Convention (WAPIC) from 18-19 November. During the 11th edition of this long running conference and expo, WAPIC will once again gather government, utilities, consultants and investors to discuss the challenges of local markets, capacity building and investment.

Says WAPIC’s programme director Irene Ochem: “As organisers of WAPIC we are thrilled to hear Mr Elumelu’s message to the power industry in November. This sector offers enormous opportunities to stakeholders across the board and needs a dynamic, astute and respected businessman such as Mr Elumelu to share his vision for the industry.”

Mr Elumelu is the chairman of Heirs Holdings that operates businesses in Africa’s financial services, oil and gas, power, real estate, hospitality, healthcare and agribusiness sectors in 20 countries. Its interests in the power sector include Transcorp Ughelli Power, a gas-fired, thermal power generating plant which was acquired under the privatisation of Nigeria’s power sector.

Addressing current challenges
According to Irene Ochem, this year’s WAPIC programme is about “unveiling comprehensive strategies for enhanced electrification throughout the region. We are addressing such current challenges as the lack of effective financing structures for power projects and infrastructure, insufficient gas to power generation, regulatory and capacity-building issues, exploiting alternative and renewable energy resources, rural electrification and energy efficiency.”

She continues: “The pre-conference workshops will focus on renewable trends for the West African power sector and during the Metering, Billing & CRM tract, amongst other things, we will be proffering solutions for closing the huge metering gap, protecting and increasing the revenue generated from the electricity market in the post-privatisation Nigeria.”

Practical learning at WAPIC
The WAPIC expo floor will showcase the latest technologies and services for the industry while the free technical workshop programme will offer practical solutions, lessons learnt from case studies and problem-solving mechanisms to assist power companies and utilities in improving their efficiency and productivity.

The site visit programme will give WAPIC delegates the unique opportunity to visit two successful projects in Lagos, the Island Power Project as well as the new city of Eko Atlantic, an impressive urban development project.

Power Industry Awards
This year also sees the launch of the West African Power Industry Awards during a five-star gala event at the event. Says WAPIC’s Irene Ochem: “to celebrate the success and the loyalty of our event participants during the past 11 years, we are proud to launch the awards, recognising excellence within the power sector and rewarding companies and individuals who have made a significant contribution to the industry.”

WAPIC programme highlights:
• Welcome address: Update on the Nigerian power privatisation
Hon Minister Chinedu O. Nebo, OON, Federal Ministry of Power, Nigeria
• Power investment and financing in Ghana
Thomas M. Akabzaa, Chief Director, Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, Ghana
• Keynote address: Unlocking investment and growth in the West African electricity power sector
Tony O. Elumelu, CON, Chairman, Heirs Holdings, Nigeria
• Power Africa: US engagement into the African power sector and a $7 billion commitment
Andrew Herscowitz, Coordinator for Power Africa and Trade Africa, USA
• Panel discussion:
Risks and challenges in power finance and how to mitigate them ; The private sector and energy finance ; Sustainable public-private partnerships (PPPs) ; Options and access

– Batchi Baldeh, Senior Vice President, Africa Finance Corporation, Nigeria
– Reynolds Dagogo-Jack, Chairman, Presidential Task Force on Power (PTFP), Nigeria
– Tony O. Elumelu, CON, Chairman, Heirs Holdings, Nigeria
– Klaus Findt, Partner COO, KPMG Global Infrastructure – Africa, South Africa
– Rumundaka Wonodi, MD/CEO, Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading PLC (NBET), Nigeria

WAPIC dates and venue:
Conference days: 18-19 November 2014
Pre-conference workshops: 17 November 2014
West African Power Industry Awards: 18 November 2014
Site visits: 20 November 2014
Venue: Eko Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria