Connect with us

Economy

Stakeholders, psychologist say criminalisation of seafarers has psychological implications

Published

on

Stakeholders, psychologist say criminalisation of seafarers has psychological implications


Seafarers

Mr Chidi Ilogu, President, Nigerian Maritime Law Association (NMLA), says criminalisation of seafarers when there are issues in a vessel has psychological implications.

Ilogu made the assertion at a Seafarers Global Conference Webinar with theme: “Seafarers Welfare:Are we Missing the Boat?”, organised by the Mission to Seafarers Lagos (MTSL) on Thursday.

He added that such situation, which is part of the challenges faced by seafarers, arose when a maritime dispute or robbery took place, leading to a vessel being arrested.

According to him, this exposes seafarers to a long stay in the port and considering the hazardous nature of their jobs, they cannot travel home and this affects them psychologically.

“A vessel can also be arrested and detained by the Navy when it is carrying crude oil without authorisation and this can take up to six to nine months before it is resolved and seafarers at times charged for it.

“Collective arrest is done by a security official even when there is a piracy attack and this exposes the seafarer to many hazards,” Ilogu said.

Mr Ibrahim Jibril, Director of Maritime Services, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), said that unfortunately, activities of pirates greatly affected seafarers in which some were alleged to work with the pirates.

According to him, seafarers are arrested with the pirates without charging them to court and this is not good for their mental health due to the nature of their job.

He added that to restore their confidence, the new Anti-piracy Law would bring succour to seafaring and seafarers in the country.

He noted that during the COVID-19 pandemic, NIMASA came up with a marine notice declaring them essential service providers, saying that as regards repatriating crew, it lied on shipowners.

Discussing on issues faced by seafarers on international scene, Mr Ben Bailey, Director of Advocacy International Centre, MTS London, said that lack of communication was the biggest challenge seafarers faced.

He noted that restriction during the COVID-19 had a drastic impact on their mental health, urging that repatriation should be approached with much sensitivity.

Prof. Ayodele Coker, a Clinical Psychologist, Lagos State University College of Medicine, noted that welfare of a seafarer was in tandem with the mental health.

According to him, seafarers are faced with depression, loneliness, abandonment, suicide and others and these affects their mental health and leads to disorder.

“Twenty five per cent of seafarers suffer from depression; 15 per cent commits suicide in a year and so they need psychological interaction.

“The medical personnel on the ship should be aware of the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and policy makers, shipowners should ensure that there is reduction in the stigma associated with mental disorder,” he said.

Mrs Margret Orakwusi, President, Shipowners Forum, said that lack of safety of seafarers on our waterways was what bothered them, urging government to look into the search and rescue missions.

“The welfare of seafarers is a give and take situation. When they are at sea, they are our problems and we have lost seamen due to piracy attacks; we are now bearing the burdens of their families.

“It is the responsibility of government to provide safe environment for business to thrive; security and safety that affect activities of seamen,” she said.

Mr Aminu Umar, Managing Director, Sea Transport Group, said that during the COVID-19, there were issues with changing crew due to the difficulties experienced in testing the crew to ensure they had no virus before boarding or disembarking the vessel.

The Chairman of the Mission to Seafarers Lagos (MTSL), Chief Adebayo Sarumi, called for support not only from regulatory organisations but also from private organisations to ensure that seafarers were given the needed support.

Edited By: Vivian Ihechu/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

 

Chiazo Ogbolu: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Tanker drivers start strike Monday as talks with LASG end in deadlock NCDC confirms 437 new COVID-19 case, total of infection hits 46,577 Apapa will open to traffic in October — LASG Halep to decide on United States Open after Prague event Gov. Fayemi mourns ex-Ekiti lawmaker, Fakiyesi Vettel says Ferrari messed up with nonsensical strategy Ekiti Govt paying lip service to healthcare delivery, say striking doctors Resumption: Academy wants COVID-19 protocol funds released directly to schools Willian confirms exit from Chelsea after 7 years Anglican Bishop urges govts to save SMEs from collapse For Europe’s “super clubs”, UEFA Champions League determines all YYA sues for peace in Ondo Assembly, condoles with Ogun over Kashamu Ilorin communities appeal to Gov. AbdulRazaq over damaged culvert NPFL 2019/2020 season: Rivers United still insisting they finished second, not third Imo Assembly restates commitment to local production through effective legislation CAN President urges FG to overhaul security apparatus  Osun: Police dismiss inspector for allegedly brutalising tailor, causing death Nimet predicts cloudy, thundery weather activities Monday to Wednesday Sanwo-Olu gives hospital’s management 7-day ultimatum to remove trucks, containers FG supports Imo farmers with 20,000 cocoa seedlings, other improved seeds COVID-19: Low attendance, strict compliance greet church re-opening in Lagos Ex-Rep wants Obaseki impeached over alleged breach of constitution NMA charges state branches to uphold values to protect members Unknown assailants kill Gov. Obiano’s aide on security DG APC Governors Forum tasks membership on participation, registration  Banditry: Monarch urges govt. to adopt new strategies Cleric tasks worshipers on COVID-19 guidelines as church services resume Kwara records 7 new cases of COVID-19 Beauty queen pledges to showcase cultural heritage of Northern Nigeria Zamfara agency sensitises communities on World Bank projects maintenance, sustainability Don’t smoke away your babies, Gynaecologist warns PDP BOT Chairman seeks conduct of LG election by INEC Community policing: FCT minister advocates involvement of council chairmen, traditional rulers Former Police boss blames security challenges on corruption, bad governance Southern Kaduna attacks: Coalition tasks locals on credible information to military Delta communities want FG to revive abandoned projects Dabiri-Erewa says Dapo William’s death great loss to Nigeria Rev Okoye urges Nigerians to return to God, shun tribalism, other vices Commission pledges to eradicate illiteracy, poverty in North-East FG, ECOWAS to host biodiversity consultation on environmental protection Journalists Forum uncovers Nigerians in critical situation in Saudi Arabia NOA urges collaboration of traditional leaders in fight against COVID-19 APC in UK pays tributes to late Dapo Williams Ekiti Govt distributes protective materials ahead Monday’s school reopening Kogi govt extends schools’ fumigation to Eastern Senatorial district Buhari mourns UK-based Nigerian, Dapo Williams COVID-19: Mosques in Ekiti ready for reopening – NSCIA COVID-19: Churches in Lagos  reopen, record  low turn out after 20 weeks of lockdown Church re-opening: Cleric wants leaders ensure compliance with COVID-19 guidelines FCTA pledges support to Suleja smart city project