The Nigerian Maritime Law Association (NMLA) has carried out a fundraising exercise with the ultimate goal of helping the Mission to Seafarers (MTS) in Nigeria.
The fundraising was held during its 2022 Maritime Ball event in Lagos on Friday to cap the 13th annual general meeting and lecture of the NMLA.
Funke Agbor, (SAN), President of NMLA, who said that the association usually holds dinner after the annual general meeting, disclosed that the association decided on a Maritime Ball, a charitable geared at raising funds for seafarers.
She said the mission, which is a global body, assists seafarers whenever they visit ports, adding that the proceeds from the fundraising event would be given to the Mission as support.
According to her, the ball presents an opportunity for the representatives of the Mission in Nigeria to tell the NMLA how both can work together to actualise the goals of the MTS.
On his part, Adebayo Sarumi, chairman of the board of trustees of the Mission to Seafarers in Nigeria, said there is a need to pay attention to the mental and physical health conditions of seafarers who spend close to 90 percent of their lives onboard ships at sea.
Using Nigerian water bedeviled with risk created by pirate attacks as an example, Sarumi said that seafarers work under challenging conditions to ensure the global economy keeps moving.
According to him, there has been a rise in the reported cases of seafarers suffering from mental illness, and some ended up committing suicide due to frustrations surrounding their lives at sea.
While describing them as essential workers, he said it is the contribution and works of the seafarers that helps to ensure that the cargo gets to the port of destination.
He commended the members of the Nigerian Maritime Law Association for responding to the call of the Mission and galvanising support for the Mission by raising funds through a raffle draw.
Describing the responsibility of the mission as a humanitarian, Sarumi said the MTS was established by the Church of England and it has the King of England as its patron.
He said the Mission in Nigeria needs funds to refurbish its dilapidated center in Lagos built before Nigeria’s independence in 1960.
The fund, according to him, would be deployed to expanding the centre to create more bedrooms, renovate the swimming pool, and build a new jetty, as well as a block of offices among others.