By Etop Ekanem
Pernod Ricard Nigeria in partnership with Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC , recently concluded a three-day campaign aimed at sensitising commercial drivers on ensuring safe roads.
The campaign sits in line with the company’s responsible hosting pillar of their Sustainability and Responsibility roadmap, which is in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3– ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all.
The sensitisation programme, tagged, Don’t Drink & Drive, kicked off from Tuesday, April 12 to Thursday, April 14, 2022, at various bus parks across Lagos, including the International Airport Park, Ikeja; Iyana Ipaja Inter-state Buspark; Obalende Bus Park; Ajah Bus Park and Ecomog Park in Mile 2. This edition follows the Christmas edition held in December 2021, where the company officially launched its “Safe Roads” campaign.
The initiative features engagements with commercial drivers who are educated on the dangers of drinking and driving as well as other risks associated with irresponsible alcohol consumption and its effects to the society at large. This reinforces Pernod Ricard Nigeria’s ongoing commitment to promoting responsible drinking habits while fighting alcohol misuse in Nigeria.
Commenting on the initiative and its impact, Managing Director, Pernod Ricard Western Africa, Sola Oke emphasized the company’s commitment to ensuring that Nigerians understand the need to adopt responsible drinking habits and the dangers associated with alcohol misuse.
He said: “We implemented this campaign to help drivers understand the negative effects of irresponsible alcohol consumption and to promote more positive choices especially during festive periods where a lot of people travel in and out of state, with drivers responsible for the safety of all passengers. We believe that creating awareness among commercial drivers on the dangers of drink-driving is a tool to help reduce casualties from road accidents. We remain committed to initiatives that fight alcohol abuse and in turn, promote responsible drinking.”
While commending Pernod Ricard Nigeria for organising the programme, the Deputy Public Enlightenment Officer, FRSC, Jesutomipe Mala, said: “It is important for one to be in full control of themselves while driving as it is an activity that requires total concentration. Drink-driving impairs one’s sense of judgement and we appeal to drivers to avoid drinking and driving. We appreciate Pernod Ricard Nigeria for taking on this initiative which fosters safety on our roads. It is truly commendable and we look forward to future editions.”
The previous edition of the ‘Safe Roads’ campaign saw massive support from government bodies including Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC), Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Lagos, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). The campaign was praised for its efforts to reduce irresponsible drinking among public transport drivers ahead of the Christmas celebration in 2021.
Pernod Ricard has been advocating responsible drinking habits through various initiatives. Many of such initiatives previously earned Pernod Ricard a gold rating from Ecovadis in recognition of its commitment to sustainable development and responsible consumption.
According to the World Health Organisation, Nigeria is one of the highest-ranking African countries for heavy episodic drinking, making initiatives such as Pernod Ricard Nigeria’s Don’t Drink & Drive campaign is critical and essential for society’s overall safety.