Leading manufacturer and Nigeria’s only total alcohol beverage company, Guinness Nigeria Plc, has partnered with the Federal Roads Safety Commission to flag off the 2016 Ember Months ‘Drink Drive’ public awareness campaign, which is aimed at enlightening the public on the harmful consequences of alcohol abuse.
Speaking at the flag-off of this year’s ember months responsible drinking campaign which took place at the Ketu Motor Park in Lagos, Managing Director/CEO, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mr. Peter Ndegwa disclosed that the partnership between Guinness Nigeria and FRSC, which has lasted over a decade, has blossomed into an impactful platform, making it possible for both parties to jointly deliver ember months campaigns that annually reach millions of Nigerians.
“Through our ember months campaigns, we aim to play a part in helping consumers make the right choices. The message we deliver to consumers through our annual campaigns is consistent with our values at Guinness Nigeria. Consumers are at the heart of everything we do as an organisation and are the basis for our success. We are therefore genuinely concerned when we see consumers put themselves at risk through practices like drink driving. The timing of this campaign takes into cognisance the high frequency of vehicular movement during ember months, particularly during the Christmas season. Historically, the occurrence of road accidents also increases during ember months. This campaign therefore, aims to help prevent alcohol-related accidents this season,” Ndegwa said.
Ndegwa also commended the FRSC for their critical role they play in helping to reduce accidents on the nation’s highways. “I would like to specially thank the FRSC for their partnership through the years and for the good work they do every day to ensure the safety of road users in Nigeria. As a company, we are proud of the impact we will be able to make through our partnership with the FRSC and other stakeholders this season. I’m positive that our collective actions will help promote the culture of responsible drinking and ensure the safety of Nigerians traveling to various destinations,” he enthused.
“Whatever you do this season, please do NOT drink and drive. When you go out in a group to have fun, designate someone to drive and that person should not drink. If you are going out alone, arrange for taxi to take you home after you have had some drink. I urge everyone to drink responsibly and also act as ambassadors of responsible drinking during this season and beyond,” Ndegwa pleaded.
On his part, Corps Commander, Lagos Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission, Mr. Hyginus Omeje commended Guinness Nigeria Plc for sustaining this giant stride for the past nine years, while taking into cognizance the fact that road safety is a shared responsibility.
Speaking on the theme of this year’s campaign, “Crash the crash: Speed kills”, Omeje noted that driving under the influence was an underlying factor in some of the road traffic crashes recorded. Furthermore, he explained that the breathalyzers Guinness Nigeria donated to the FRSC last year have helped them carry out extensive sobriety tests by randomly breath alyzing drivers within the state.
“As we officially flag off this year’s ember months road safety responsible drinking campaign, I charge everyone to re-direct their minds toward good road use by obeying all rules and regulations. It is our collective responsibility to eradicate or reduce the ever increasing volume of road crashes on our roads,” he warned.
The event had representatives from the Nigerian Army, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers in attendance.
Guinness Nigeria has consistently demonstrated its strong commitment to promoting the responsible consumption of alcohol as part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle, through its various Responsible Drinking initiatives. These include a special training programmes for Bartenders (called the Master Bar Academy) which has trained 1000 bartenders across Nigeria on responsible retailing, , an age verification initiative, which will helps ensure that alcohol is not sold to underage persons and a radio programme – “Drink Diaries” which highlights the dangers of alcohol abuse. Only recently, Guinness Nigeria entered into a partnership with the National Youth Service Corp to train corps members as ambassadors of responsible drinking in their various communities as part of their service to the nation.