The former Super Eagles assistant coach says the Nigerian team is expected to show the strength in the competition in South Africa
The draws for the tournament was conducted on Wednesday and Akpokona remains confident that the team will excel in spite of the opposition they will face.
The Super Eagles will play in Group A alongside, South Africa, Mali and Mozambique.
"I am optimistic that the team will show their class. In Nigeria, we have a lot of good players. Harnessing their potentials has been the problem, but that is what Stephen Keshi has started doing in the last couple of months.
"You can see that home based players play regularly in grade A friendlies and World Cup qualifiers. That gave the boys at home the opportunity to show what they can do.
"All the experience garnered from training and playing matches under Keshi will come into play when the CHAN comepetition starts in January 2014.
"I have seen their group and the countries they will face. I am sure that they will qualify from that group and move further in the competition.
"This is the first time the team will qualify for the competition and I know they will want to make an impact.
"Keshi has done so well with the team and the Nigeria Football Federation should give them all the support so they can prepare very well," Akpokona advised.