The National Association of Energy Correspondents (NAEC) was founded in 1987 in Lagos, Nigeria.
The correspondents covering the energy beat had been nursing the idea of establishing a beat association that will assist them in effectively covering the difficult, highly technical oil industry, which is the mainstay of the Nigerian economy before 1987, but the unique opportunity provided by the creation of the African Petroleum Producers’ Association (APPA) at the Sheraton Hotels, Ikeja, in 1987 was taken by the correspondents to inaugurate the beat association known as NAEC at the venue of the APPA conference.
Some of the correspondents, who covered the APPA conference registered as members of the NAEC and the election that followed saw Joe Nwokedi of the Concord Newspapers as the President of NAEC, Goddy Ikeh of the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) as Secretary General and Chika Emerenwa of the FRCN as the director of publicity. The other founding officers/members of the association included NduUghamadu of the Daily Times, Eniola Olakunri of the Guardian Newspaper, GodfreyOdu of the NTA, Omafume Amure of the New Nigerian Newspapers, Sola Alabi of Concord Newspapers among others.
The vision of the founding members/fathers of NAEC was to create a platform for the correspondents to cooperate, collaborate, share knowledge and competences in the coverage of the energy sector of the country as well as the global energy sector, especially as it impacts the local industry.
With this vision and the support of the General Manager, Corporate Affairs of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Alex Nwokedi (now Igwe of Achalla in Anambra State) and Mr. Adeshola Macaulay of the NEPA, the new bodybegan to unravel what appeared to be the most difficult and technical beat in the country.
Among the initial accomplishments of the association were series of capacity building workshops to broaden their knowledge base of the industry sharpen the reportorial skills of the members and ensure that many of the members attend OPEC conferences and other international oil conferences, annual conferences and energy awards. Apart from the NNPC, some of the oil majors sponsored NAEC members to OPEC conferences and other international oil conferences.
NAEC played a crucial role during the petrol price hikes of the 1980s and some of the members were co-opted to serve in several committees appointed by the NNPC.
A milestone in the coverage of the energy sector was marked in 1991 when a member of NAEC, Goddy Ikeh of News Agency of Nigeria wrote and published for first book on the country’s oil industry, The Nigerian oil industry. The launch of the book was performed by Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, which is the first company to find and exploit crude oil in Nigeria. This singular project elevated the association and accorded more respect to the members.
Due to improved reports and relations between NAEC and the oil companies, some members of NAEC were frequently employed to join the public affairs of these companies. Tajudeen Adigun was employed by Nigeria Agip Oil Company and a few others. The height of this attainment of this group was the appointment of NduUghammadu as the General Manager of the NNPC.