Leading manufacturer and Nigeriaâ€™s only total beverage company, Guinness Nigeria Plc, held its 13th annual Ember Months â€˜Responsible Drinkingâ€™ public awareness rally in partnership with the Federal Roads Safety Corps (FRSC), which is aimed at enlightening the public on the harmful consequences of alcohol abuse.
Speaking at the event, which took place at the Agege Motor Park in Lagos, Managing Director/CEO, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mr. Peter Ndegwa, disclosed that the partnership with the FRSC has been a truly impactful one, making it possible to jointly deliver awareness campaigns reaching millions of Nigerians yearly.
â€œThrough our ember months campaigns, we want to give ourconsumers the right information in order to help them make the right decisions around using alcohol as part of a balanced lifestyle. 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 existence. We are therefore interested in using education and awareness as a way to curb instances of alcohol misuse and more specifically in this case drink driving,â€ Ndegwa said.
He also commended the FRSC for the critical role they play in helping to reduce accidents on the nationâ€™s highways. â€œI 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 have been able to make through our partnership with the FRSC and other stakeholders. Iâ€™m positive that our collective actions will help promote the culture of responsible drinking and ensure the safety of those traveling on Nigerian roads,â€ he enthused.
â€œWhatever 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.â€
If you are going out alone, arrange for taxi to take you home after you have had a drink. I urge everyone to drink responsibly and also act as ambassadors of responsible drinking during this season and beyond,â€ Ndegwa pleaded.
On his part, Corps Commander, Lagos Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Mr. Hyginus Omeje commended Guinness Nigeria Plc for sustaining this giant stride in the past thirteen years, while taking into cognizance the fact that road safety is a shared responsibility.
Speaking at the event, 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 in 2015 have been used to collate baseline data on driving under the influence (DUI) within the state.
â€œAs we officially flag off this yearâ€™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,â€ he warned.
The event had representatives from the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), National Automotive Technician Association (NATA), the Nigerian Army, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigeria Union of Petroleum, Lagos Taxi Drivers Association 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 DRINKiQ, Diageoâ€™s global responsible drinking resource, providing information, tools and resources to help people better understand the role of alcohol as part of a balanced lifestyle and to make informed choices about drinking – or not drinking. 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.