The out gone Flag Officer Commanding, FOC, Eastern Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy, Calabar ,Victor Adedipe, has said the command destroyed no fewer than 150 illegal refineries between June 2017 and January 2018.
Mr Adedipe, rear admiral, said the illegal refineries destroyed within the Command’s area of operation included those within the maritime domain of Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River states.
Mr Adedipe said this during the handing over of the command to his successor, Matthew Emuekpere in Calabar.
He said that since his resumption on June 29, 2017, the command had witnessed drastic reduction of crude oil theft, illegal bunkering and piracy.
According to him, the successes were achieved by the constant patrol by naval personnel at sea, adding that the command also repelled the hijack of several ships on the sea.
“During my time in the command, myself and my team were able to make our contributions principally in two key areas which are operations and welfare.
“Within the period, we were able to shut down 150 illegal refineries within the command’s area of operations. This was due to our aggressive anti-crude and illegal bunkering patrol.
“In the area of welfare, with very strong support from the Naval Headquarters, the command was able to add value to its entire barracks,’’ he said.
He also commended other security agencies, the host community and the governments of Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River States for their support and solicits the same support for his successor.
“I also acknowledge the contributions of the Naval personnel and civilian staff that served in the command under my leadership and urge them to continue to give the same level of loyalty, commitment and support to the new FOC,’’ he said.
Mr Emuekpere in his response after receiving the flag of command and leadership commended Adedipe for his dynamic leadership in the command.
He thanked all those that helped Adedipe to succeed and urged that the same level of support be given to him to enable the command achieve its set objectives.
“I have formally served in this command as a young officer. I wish to solicit the support of all personnel within the command to help us move the Nigerian Navy to greater heights,’’ he said.