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Terminal operators host MTS delegation, assure seafarers of support

The Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN) on Thursday hosted a delegation from the international headquarters of the Mission to Seafarers (MTS), assuring that the association would continue to offer support to seafarers.

Led by the Regional Director, MTS African Region, Rev. Cedric Rautenbach, the delegation also included the Chaplain of MTS Lagos, Rev. Canon Bimbo Aduroja and the Assistant Chaplain of MTS Lagos, Rev. Emmanuel Ilori.

Speaking during the visit, the Chairman of STOAN, Princess Vicky Haastrup, assured the delegation of the support of terminal operators in the fulfilment of the mission of MTS.

“The work of seafarers is a noble one. Without seafarers, there is no ship, and without ship, there are no ports. Seafarers work for all of us. They are on the ship for months on a stretch without going home to their families and loved ones. Terminal operators will always support the MTS in their effort to support seafarers. We commend the Mission to Seafarers for all that you are doing for them. You deserve our support,” Princess Haastrup said.

She particularly commended MTS for supporting seafarers in terms of addressing fatigue, facilitating communication, during ship abandonment, mental health challenges, ship robbery and piracy attacks, shipwrecks, injury and through many other challenges.

“Your work is enormous and commendable. You can count on our support,” she said.

The STOAN Chairman assured the visiting MTS team that all other terminal operators will be mobilised to render assistance, grant access and support to the charity organisation.

Also speaking, the Executive Director of ENL Consortium, Mark Walsh, said over the years, the terminal has been supportive of the activities of MTS Lagos in its area of operation at the port.

He said ENL will continue to support the cause of MTS by exploring ways of removing barriers on the paths of visiting seafarers who wish to interact with MTS personnel for necessary care and support.

The Executive Director of Port and Cargo Handling Services, Captain Ibraheem Olugbade, who also attended the meeting, equally reassured MTS of full support of the terminal in the discharge of its duties.

Other terminal operators also commended MTS for its selfless service to seafarers and assured the team of their support.

Speaking earlier, the Regional Director, MTS African Region, Rev. Cedric Rautenbach, said the purpose of the visit was to discuss issues affecting the activities of the charity organisation and how seaport terminal operators can further assist in fulfilling its mission.

He said terminal operators are essential to the services rendered to seafarers on board ships visiting Nigeria.

He assured that MTS operates on sound principles, and works closely with government agencies and terminal operators to cater to the needs of seafarers across the world.

“We want to work with everyone, and we will comply with the regulations,” he assured.

Set up in the United Kingdom in 1856, the Mission to Seafarers is a Christian welfare charity organisation offering support to merchant crews around the world. It offers emotional and spiritual support to seafarers through ship visits, drop-in centres and a range of welfare and emergency support services.

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