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Managing Death in the Maritime Sector: A Tribute To Omoteso, Damachi

Managing Death In The Maritime Sector

Late Capt Abiodun Omoteso

“We must be diligent today. To wait until tomorrow is too late. Death comes unexpectedly. How can we bargain with it?” Buddha

This wise saying by one of India’s greatest thinkers Gautama Buddha aptly exemplifies a distinctive perspective of death and he concludes with a beautiful rhetorical question – how can we bargain with death?

The Nigerian maritime industry has suffered incessant demise of its critical stakeholders in recent times such as the passing away of Nigeria’s foremost Master Mariner; Capt Abiodun Omoteso, and  Mrs Lucy Damichi, but how can the industry and the nation at large effectively manage these persistent deaths?

Tributes have been pouring in from all over the country for these exemplary maritime veterans and MMS  Plus joins in commiserating with families of the deceased even as we choose only to remember them as heroes and heroins for the service, industry, fidelity and patriotism they portrayed during their lifetime- qualities worthy of emulation by all Nigerians.

The late Capt Omoteso was Shipping Position Daily guest columnist on the Maritime Safety page on Mondays, between 2007 and 2008. He did this gratis. The Septuagenarian was a former Managing Director of erstwhile national carrier; the Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL) and his most recent official engagement was as a member of the Lagos Pilotage Board of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

The lives of great minds like Capt. Omoteso and every other member of the maritime populace and the nation at large is very sacrosanct, hence the need to be more safety cautious, have regular health checkups cannot be overemphasized. Life insurance can also be effectively deployed as a way of reducing the perils as insurance protects heirs from the unknowable and helps them through an otherwise difficult time of loss.

With a view to curbing these deaths as much as possible, let’s tilt away from the question of enhanced health facilities and services and take a critical look at vital personal measures and other pragmatic solutions that could be deployed to effectively bargain with death and manage its aftermath.

We would analyze the place of improved personal health management, better safety and security awareness, as well as life insurance policies.

Personal Health Care

This is about the maintenance of one’s personal well-being and health. It’s widely accepted that prevention is better, safer and cheaper than the cure of most ailments. Hence, there is a dire need for maritime stakeholders and all Nigerians to embrace personal hygiene, dieting, physical exercises, stress management and frequent medical checkups, in order to know their medical status at all times.

This approach has been endorsed by medical practitioners as the best way to healthy living as it a proactive measure that can help one quickly discover an illness and nip it in the bud.

Safety and Security measures

Safety is put succinctly as the freedom from danger, by the Webster dictionary. Safety has become a watchword for most maritime related agencies and this is a welcome development.

However, safety should go beyond possessing a Health Safety and Environment (HSE) certificate as is practiced by some workers in the maritime domain nowadays, safety ought to be our culture.

Life insurance

The foundation of life insurance is the recognition of the value of a human life and the possibility of indemnification for the loss of that value as it provides an infusion of cash for dealing with the adverse financial consequences of the insured’s death.

This type of insurance remains unfamiliar and unpatronized by most Nigerians but the benefits far outweigh the risks.

We may not be able to stop death but we can do a lot to improve our lives, living healthy, dying eventually at old age and catering for those we live behind. We can, if we effectively employ the approaches above.

By Kenneth Jukpo

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