Mission to Seafarers Lagos (MTSL) has concluded plans to work towards improving the seafarers’ welfare institutions in Nigeria in order to meet up with the international best practices in the world.
Speaking at a press briefing on Monday to celebrate the organisation week in Lagos, the Chairman of MTSL, Chief Adebayo Sarumi, said seafarers welfare is a hydra-headed challenge, which has institutional, political, cultural and social nuances, to name but few and the responses to the narrative are diverse.
He said: “Over 3, 000 ships berth in Lagos yearly with 80 per cent being foreign flagged while the sea was conduit with over 85 per cent of the goods and services you see around. The delivery of these goods by sea is often taken for granted because of the consistent flow of trade. Even during this precarious COVID-19 period, maritime trade remains an essential service and seafarers as essential workers.
“The sad irony is that while most pay attention to the cargo, few ever ask who delivers them? The Seafarers are the ones carrying the most important and precious cargo of all while the men and the women that work assiduously to sustain our precious maritime trade are the invisible hands that propel nations to sustenance, survival and the superlative. They are also the most overlooked aspect of the value chain; their welfare often trivialised.”
According to him, MTSL had an advantage of being the first seafarers’ welfare institution in the country, adding that in spite the fact that time changes, that they had developed a pedigree of sort and they intended to leverage on it.
He said: “Then formidable mien of the present committee would be brought to the fore in forging even stronger ties within the country and international allies. In a very short period, we have developed a Strategic Plan Designed to achieve a myriad of objectives.