As the festive period draws nearer, Nigerian Breweries (NB) Plc on Thursday flagged off its annual Don’t Drink and Drive (DDD) campaign in collaboration with Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and other agencies.
NB’s Managing Director Mr. Nicolaas Vervelde on Thursday at a press conference held at the company’s Iganmu Headquarters to herald activities mapped out for the campaign appealed to motorists to stay alive during the coming “Ember months” by adhering strictly to the “responsible consumption” messages of the company.
He said the campaign, the eighth edition was one of the ways the brew giant is giving back to the society as part of its “Winning with Nigeria” vision.
Represented by the company’s Corporate Media and Brand PR Manager, Mr Edem Vindah , the MD said this year’s edition which would include rallies and public enlightenment sessions in Onitsha (Anambra State), Oyo (Oyo State), Otukpo (Benue) and Abuja, would also include a workshop for members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers and the Federal Road Safety Corps unit commanders.
He said: “Since the programme’s launch in 2008, we have held 31 rallies in major cities across the country. The rallies continue to attract large turnout of stakeholders that includes commercial and private vehicle drivers, motorcycle and tricycle riders, where responsible consumption messages.”
Driven by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), in conjunction with other critical stakeholders which were made up of the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency, (LASTMA), the Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS) Motor Vehicle Administration Agency (MVAA), among others, Vervelde said the Nigerian Breweries would continue to sustain the partnership in its bid to enhance the deepening of road safety culture and encourage responsible consumption of alcohol.
The FRSC Corps Marshal and Chief Executive Officer Boboye Oyeyemi, on his part said the strategic partnership with the Nigerian Breweries driven by public education and awareness would help improve road users’ behaviour through the sustained enforcement of road safety laws and standards.
Oyeyemi who was represented by the Head of Special Marshal and Partnership, Deputy Corps Marshal Ahmed Hassan, said speed limit violation often induced by excessive drinking, remain a prevalent factor on road traffic crashes, accounting for about 58 percent of road crashed recorded nationwide last year.
He said as part of its strategic goals in reducing crashes by 20 percent and deaths by 30 percent the Corps this year had improved on its training, consultation and enlightenment of all stakeholders in the sector.
The Corps now carry out more regularly, routine breathalyzer checks on commercial drivers to enthrone safer road culture, strengthen aggressive stakeholders consultation targeted at implementing the speed limiter implementation as a prelude to its nationwide implementation and the regular inspection of public and private motor parks to sensitise road users on the dangers of drunk driving and sale of alcohol/dangerous drugs in motor parks, and the utilisation of the digital platforms to improve enforcement using ICT tracking system and e-ticketing devices among others.
Oyeyemi said the venues for this year’s NB’s enlightenment campaigns were selected based on their prevalence on alcohol induced crashes.
He therefore directed the Commanders of the host commands Anambra, Onitsha, Otukpo, Oyo and Abuja to ensure improved mobilisation of the various transport unions in their domains in order to record impressive attendance at the four venues.
Oyeyemi also called for the inclusion of commercial motorcycle and tricycle drivers in the target groups for the campaigns considering their vulnerability and susceptibility to the use of alcohol and illicit drugs.
While praising the Nigerian Breweries for the partnership which he said has improved the FRSC capacity in enforcing road traffic rule, Oyeyemi said in addition to the provisions of breathalyzers, the brewery should provide a project vehicle.
“This will in no doubt boost the Nigerian Breweries Corporate image and the partnership,” Oyeyemi added.
The event was attended by top management officers of the FRSC among whom are Nseobong Akpabio, Andrew Ibem, Imoh Etuk, Hyacinth Omeje, and Head of Media and Strategy, Bisi Kazeem among others, while the NB team were led by Mr Vindah, the Sustainability Manager Mrs Emete Tonukari.