Guinness fosters responsible drinking through partnerships
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that as at the third quarter of 2017, Nigeria had about 11 million motor vehicles in the country.
More than four million of these vehicles are privately-owned while more than six million vehicles are registered as commercial vehicles.
Another 135,216 vehicles are registered as government owned vehicles.
While the report reveals that Nigeria’s vehicle per person was at about 0.06 as at the third quarter of 2017, Nigeria is still regarded as one of the top countries with a high vehicular movement having the largest highway and road network in Africa.
Around 3,000 car accidents occur everyday around the world. Alcohol and other drugs are found to be one of the several factors, other contributing factors are human error- use of phones when driving, disobeying traffic light and signs, impatient drivers, overspeeding, bad roads, tyres, driving under exhaustion etc.
Automobile-related deaths rank 10th position as one of the leading causes of death in the world taking its place below diseases and global epidemics like Tuberculosis (TB), Diarrhoea and Diabetes.
According to the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), there were 12,077 road accidents of which 5,400 persons died in 2015.
In 2016, the NBS said there were 11,363 crashes with 5,053 deaths; and in 2017, 10,026 crashes and 5,049 deaths.
It is important to note that road accidents are a direct danger to the growth of the economy as it abruptly halts the inherent potentials of the victims especially when the case is fatal.
Guinness Nigeria, leading brewery company in Nigeria, as part of its corporate strategy for reducing alcohol-related road crashes, have set ambitious responsible drinking targets and is committed to measuring and reporting on every programme.
One of the programmes recently embarked on by the company is the adoption of the Diageo and United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) partnership which has been running globally but will be implemented in Nigeria henceforth.
This was the agenda at the UNITAR Road Safety Conference, which held recently in Abuja.
The conference served as an outlet to discuss solutions and share best practices and learnings on road safety legislation and regulation that will help address the issues of road safety in Nigeria.
In attendance were the Honourable Minister for Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, the Executive Director of UNITAR, Nikhil Seth, the Managing Director of Guinness Nigeria Plc, Baker Magunda, and over 100 local and international experts and stakeholders.
At the conference, plans to unveil a series of major road safety engagements aimed at reducing traffic death and injuries; and improve road safety both globally and in Nigeria, were introduced.
The partnership with UNITAR and Federal Government will deliver a high-visibility drink driving enforcement campaign in Lagos.
It will involve the training of Federal Road safety Corps (FRSC) officers in planning, running and evaluating road-side breathalyzer checkpoints using the model created by renowned expert Dr. Othon Sanchez; who successfully ran a sustained drink drive campaign in Mexico City which delivered a 40 percent reduction in crashes and fatalities.
The objective of the three year long campaign is to increase awareness and knowledge among drivers about the risk factors associated with drink driving and also curb alcohol-related fatalities.
The target for Guinness Nigeria is to ensure that as a corporate organization there is a strategic plan to achieve the United Nation’s Global Goals and support WHO’s programmes on health.
With UN, road safety targets have been included in the final text of the new Sustainable Development Goals adopted by UN member states in New York.
A specific stand-alone target in the Health Goal is to reduce road traffic fatalities by 50 per cent by 2020 and a target on sustainable urban transport in the cities.
The company is also engaging other stakeholders to curb the scourge of road crashes in Nigeria.
It launched the Annual Ember Months Campaign in partnership with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to sensitize drivers on the dangers of drink driving especially during the end of the year through the festivities, to the New Year, when vehicular movements on the roads are usually high.
The Annual Ember Months Campaign has been ongoing for 14 years and has garnered much impact.
The brewery company has continually gone beyond production and sales of alcoholic and non-alcohol beverages, to championing responsible drinking and community development initiatives through its various projects and campaigns.
In Nigeria, their efforts cannot be over emphasized as they have remained unwavering to the sensitization of their customers, the public and partners to eliminate drink driving, promote responsible drinking and build safer and holistically developed societies.