C’River: Power, Agric Show Underway

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ACEL, a private management and consultancy firm in Calabar is said to be planning an agriculture, power and water convention and exhibition aimed at improving the basic infrastructures and exploring the potentials of the continent in those sectors for the benefit of Africans.
The convention is expected to address the challenges of Africa’s development, especially in the critical areas of agriculture, power and water.
It would also afford participants the opportunity to explore the road map for the continent’s sustainability, prosperity and progress in partnership with sector stakeholders, foreign and local entrepreneurs, manufacturers of technology and the consumers themselves.
Slated for the Tinapa Business and Leisure Resort Calabar, the convention and exhibition will hold for nine days running through the 21st to the 30th of October, 2009.
Organizers are already in discussion with several African Heads of States, who have shown great interest and given tentative indication of their possible attendance or representation at the event.
The convention has also received the endorsements of several organisations and individuals across the globe including ECOWAS, DCTA, NACCIMA, TINAPA, Cross River Water Board, National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Ministry of Agriculture, First Bank as well as the Obong of Calabar.
The World Bank, Water Systems Manufacturers (Europe/Aberdeen), Power Companies (USA), Agro Technology Companies (Asia), Financial and Research Institutions, Diplomatic and Trade Missions have also sent in their support and encouragement for the convention.
In an interactive session with correspondents on the convention, Charlie Udoutun, Head of Communication and Strategy, ACEL, said, “We want to use this platform to encourage government and all the relevant agencies to look in other directions in search of new ideas. How do we move agriculture forward, we have to start thinking of what happens after the oil. We have to start building the agricultural sector and a lot of the problems we got from our feed back in the agricultural sector is on processing and distribution and all those areas that are concerned with getting the food from the farm to the table.”
“We are all living witnesses of the problems besetting the power sector. So we are inviting in addition to listening to the current Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), National Independent Power Project (NIPP), trying to understand their difficulties so that we can also explain that to the Nigerian public why we don’t have light. And it is also an avenue for government to come and tell them what they have been doing”, Udoutun also noted.
Estimated to cost about N400 million, the convention will explore new ways of advancing the water supply sector as well.
“Water is also another critical area,” he stated, stressing, “is the heart of what we are trying to achieve with this convention. We do not expect to have all the answers. But we just expect to initiate a new dialogue that is at the heart of what we are trying to do.”
According to him, manufacturers of new technology in the power generating sector, solar power, water, biofuel and other options that are available are targeted to attend the convention.
“We are resolute in our commitment to activate a new dialogue in the vanguard of advancing the performance capabilities of our various countries to increase their capacity to deliver quality services and options to every community,” said J K Williams, Vice President ACEL and main driver of the convention.