Guinness Nigeria, as part of their corporate strategy for reducing alcohol-related road crashes, has set ambitious responsible drinking targets and is committed to measuring and reporting on every programme. The firm promotes the Diageo and United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) partnership which has been running globally but will be implemented in Nigeria.
At the UNITAR Road Safety Conference, held recently in Abuja 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.
At the event were Minister for Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, Executive Director of UNITAR, Nikhil Seth, Managing Director of Guinness Nigeria Plc, Baker Magunda, and over 100 local and international experts and stakeholders. The stakeholders introduced plans to unveil major road safety engagements to reduce traffic death and injuries and improve road safety both globally and in Nigeria during the conference.
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 Othon Sanchez; who successfully ran a sustained drink drive campaign in Mexico City which delivered a 40 per cent reduction in crashes and fatalities. The objective of the three year campaign is to increase awareness and knowledge among drivers about the risk factors associated with drink driving and also curb alcohol-related fatalities.
The programme Sanchez, a former police chief of Mexico City and a founder of “Conduce Sin Alcohol Programme” delivered a reduction in drinking and driving related crashes and fatalities. The training aims at addressing drinking and driving and the commitment to the “Drive Dry” campaign – meaning driving without alcohol consumption in the hope of reducing fatalities on the road; is the model that will be adopted by Guinness Nigeria and effected through the partnership with UNITAR and The Ministry of Transportation. It is also to note that the initiative by Sanchez was also in partnership with UNITAR and Diageo and yielded results across Africa, Asia and Latin America.
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 program 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.
Guinness Nigeria 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 by Guinness Nigeria has been ongoing for 14 years and has garnered much impact.