‘Benefits of Future Energy Nigeria expo’

Ade Yesufu

Ade Yesufu, Commercial Director, Future Energy Nigeria, in this interview with Paula Easeghene says visitors to the exhibition will find a lively, practical and interactive space with free, technical workshops on November 7-8 at Eko Hotel, Lagos

A brief introduction of what Future Energy Nigeria is about?
Formerly known as the West African Power Industry Convention or WAPIC, which was a firm, favourite fixture on the region’s power calendar for the last 13 years, Future Energy Nigeria, with the support of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Transmission Company of Nigeria, NAPTIN, distribution companies and prominent generation companies, will once again host many of the country’s leading energy decision makers on November 7-8 2017 at Eko Hotel & Suite Convention Centre in Lagos.

The rebranded Future Energy Nigeria will focus on the bold turnaround plan of the Nigerian government, known as the Power Sector Recovery Program, which is aimed at restoring investor confidence in the sector following reported problems in the country’s electricity market. U$D7.6-billion has been earmarked for this recovery process that the government developed in partnership with the World Bank.

The event is recognised as being a distinctive gathering of stakeholders within the power value chain which includes governments, power generation companies, transmission and distribution companies, off takers, developers, investors, equipment manufacturers and providers, technology providers, EPCs, legal and consulting firms, all with a shared goal of supporting the on-going implementation of and finding lasting solutions to Nigeria’s energy challenges. Co-located to the event is the Oil & Gas Council’s Nigeria Assembly.

Being the 14th Future Energy Nigeria, what is new about this year’s edition?
As a long-standing member of the Future Energy Nigeria team, I have been privileged to witness the growth of the event. The conference has always been rich in content, addressing the current challenges and embracing open dialogue to connect stakeholders in their drive to find and implement viable solutions.

A case in point is the introduction of a Master Class, which covers the intricacies around financing renewable energy projects, which mirrors the drive to add renewable energy to Nigeria’s energy mix. Industry experts addressing the Master Class will share invaluable knowledge around financing considerations and unusual solutions such as Blockchain that are disrupting the traditional funding models.

This year, attendees can also expect a roundtable format at the Future Energy Nigeria conference sessions, which dedicate a day to discuss upcoming and operational power generation projects in Nigeria – with emphasis on solar, thermal and hydropower projects. The conference and exhibition will once again prove to be the epicentre for discussion on topics around policy, technology and finance for Nigeria’s energy and power sector.

We will have a documentary screening again, this time of “Green Energy for the Giant of Africa Documentary” on November 6, the evening before the expo opens which will give visitors an additional chance to network. The documentary will look at the lack of access to energy in Nigeria and the potential of renewable technology – but you will also have the chance to discuss it with like-minded people after the screening and debate the future of renewables with others in the sector.

But a very exciting newcomer to the event this year is the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), representing India as the featured country partner, hosting a pavilion of almost 50 suppliers of specialised technology and services for the energy sector. Visitors to the Indian pavilion will be able to interact and network directly with Indian vendors who have specialized in the energy sector. Visitors can also see the products and services covering generation, transmission & distribution, metering, renewables and new technologies. Visitors can furthermore establish distribution channels.

Do you think this is the solution to the energy problem in Nigeria right now?
I’m excited about Nigeria’s energy future. Nigeria is the future and gathering the country’s decision makers together for another ground-breaking power pow-wow in Lagos is an important part of being part of the solution.

I don’t see the current recession as a reason to be negative or even cautious about Nigeria’s economic future. If anything, it has focused government and industry alike to make sure we get the basics right to stimulate much-needed growth and we need a reliable and affordable power supply to do that. The Federal Government’s Nigerian Power Sector Recovery Programme is an important message to the rest of the world that Nigeria is planning significant improvements towards achieving structural economic change with a more diversified and inclusive economy. To me, this creates an important foundation to showcase the enormous business and investment opportunities that the sector provides and I cannot help but be very excited about that.

We all know that there is a lot of work to do, we have to restore investor confidence, but we are ready to get everyone together and to make sure we showcase the myriad of opportunities in the sector; from gas to renewables, from generation to distribution and from actual building projects to providing specialised services. The power sector knows what to do, needs to stand together and make it happen. Nigeria is ready!

Tell us more about the Future Energy Nigeria expo and what the exhibitors stand to benefit from it.
We have gathered more than 80 suppliers of ground-breaking technologies and services to the energy industry and we offer a premier buying platform, where distributors, resellers, utilities and buyers gather to meet suppliers and solution providers from around the world in the fields of generation, transmission and distribution, metering and renewables. We provide the platform, the key decision makers, top content to draw visitors to the exhibition floor.

Power professionals, engineers and business owners who visit the expo will find a lively, practical and interactive space with free, technical workshops to hone their skills or learn new ones. The workshops will focus on:
– Reducing Non-technical losses and Metering solutions
– Renewable Energy Off-grid Solutions.

Who are your audiences, that is, who are those expected to come to the market event?
More than a thousand expo visitors and conference delegates will be part of Future Energy Nigeria this year. Attendees typically are consultants, have financial or legal positions, work for government or regulators, utilities or IPPs, distributors, large energy consumers, technology providers or project developers.

What has been the challenge so far?
We have had a great response from the industry – we have been around for many years and they know that we always deliver a quality event with quality interaction.

Who has been your major sponsor and how can the government come in?
Apart from the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) who are representing India as the featured country partner, we have a returning platinum sponsor and a longstanding supporter of the event, Lucy Electric, a leading secondary distribution solutions company with a great heritage and strong history in West Africa. The other platinum sponsor is SkipperSeil Group, an integrated energy firm with focus on electrical innovation,design, manufacturing and engineering that has been serving the power sector in India and across the globe since 1986.

We’re very proud of our opening session speaker line-up which includes some high-level government representatives too:
•    Hon (Chief) Daniel Asuquo, Chairman, House Committee on Power
•    H.E Senator Bassey Akpan, Chairman, Senate Committee on Gas, Nigeria
•    H.E. Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Chairman, Senate Committee on Power
•    Lazarus Angbazo, CEO, Energy Connections Business, GE: Sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria
•    Hon. (Princess) Gloria Akobundu, CEO and National Coordinator, NEPAD, Nigeria
•    Onyeche Tifase, CEO, Siemens, Nigeria
•    Akinwole Omoboriowo, CEO, Genesis Energy, Nigeria
•    Patrick O. Okigbo III, Principal Partner, Nextier, Nigeria
•    Sunkanmi Olowo, Head SME Banking, Ecobank, Nigeria.

Anything you will like to add?
We invite anyone who is involved in the energy industry or for whom energy is important to their business to come to the expo at the Eko Hotel. Come and be part of the conversation and check out the new technologies on offer!



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