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Drink-driving initiative to educate commercial drivers

By Benjamin Alade
10 December 2021   |   4:07 am
Pernod Ricard Nigeria has embarked on a drink-driving initiative, tagged ‘Safe Roads’. This campaign is part of the organisation’s sustainability roadmap under its responsible hosting pillar, which aims at fighting alcohol misuse in the society by acting on harmful drinking.

Deputy Corps Commander Operations, Federal Road Safety Corp, Cyril Matthew (left); Managing Director, Pernod Ricard Western Africa, Sola Oke; Director of Vehicle Inspection Service, Akin-George Fashola; Deputy Corps Commander, Federal Road Safety Corp, Anthony Daudu and Human Resource Manager, Pernod Ricard Western Africa, Dolapo Onasanya at the Pernod Ricard Nigeria Drink-Drive sensitisation seminar for commercial drivers at Ojota New Garage bus park, held in Lagos.

Pernod Ricard Nigeria has embarked on a drink-driving initiative, tagged ‘Safe Roads’. This campaign is part of the organisation’s sustainability roadmap under its responsible hosting pillar, which aims at fighting alcohol misuse in the society by acting on harmful drinking.

The campaign initiative, which is targeted at commercial drivers, was introduced with a sensitisation seminar at the Ojota new garage bus park in Lagos.

The campaign launch saw representatives of Pernod Ricard Nigeria sensitise commercial drivers on the dangers of drinking and driving, especially as more people commute intra/interstate for the festive season.

Representatives from the Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC), Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Lagos, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), were also present at the event.

The drivers were also educated on factors that affect how alcohol is processed in the body, amount of alcohol in popular drinks, and time it takes for the body to process a unit of alcohol. They also examined statistics of accidents caused by drunk driving and fatality rates.

Managing Director, Pernod Ricard Western Africa, Sola Oke, at the event, said as an organisation, they are committed to ensuring that customers understand the need for responsible drinking and the dangers associated with alcohol misuse specifically for drivers.

“As we are all aware, road traffic injuries and deaths have become one of the growing public health problems in Nigeria. Among the causes of road accidents is driving under the influence of alcohol, also called drink-driving. It is basically the misuse of alcohol and it is a major risk factor for road accidents. It is against this background that we at Pernod Ricard Nigeria have decided to kick-start this initiative.”

“The campaign is being implemented in partnership with the FRSC, with the aim of helping our drivers understand the negative effects of alcohol misuse, and to promote responsible and positive choices, especially in this festive season where a lot of us would be traveling out of Lagos to various places and putting our lives in the hands of drivers” he said.

Assistant state commander, NDLEA, Lagos Command, Mrs Titilope Ogunluyi, said: “Our drivers are very important because the lives of passengers are in their hands, while they drive. As we know, alcohol is meant to be for pleasure and socialising, not when we’re at work. Even then, it is supposed to be taken in moderation, which varies from individual to individual. We are therefore appealing to our drivers, to abstain totally from alcohol while driving.”

The Zonal Commanding Officer, FRSC, Anthony Daudu, commented on the necessity of responsible driving and road safety for all.

He said: “Driving is a very serious business, which is why the FRSC has made it mandatory that if you must start driving, then you must be trained for it; so that you do not cause colossal damage to yourself and to others. I think this is a very timely and laudable campaign and the FRSC is in total support of this programme.”

Director, Lagos state Vehicle Inspection Service, (VIS) Akin-George Fashola, representing the Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladehinde, urged other corporate bodies to emulate the actions of Pernod Ricard.

“We are delighted to have an organisation like Pernod Ricard on this campaign. They are not just about the sale of alcohol, but about doing the right thing at the right time. As we know, one of the major causes of road accidents is drunk driving and this is an opportunity to educate people on dangers of drinking and driving.

“We are glad to see a responsible alcoholic beverage company championing this cause. I also use this opportunity to counsel drivers to desist from drunk driving, your lives are very important. I urge more corporate bodies to also continue this sensitisation as our safety on the road is very important and more people need to be educated,” he said.