The Ojota new garage park was electrified this morning with the surprise appearance of Arsenal Footballer and International star, Thierry Henry to join in the Ember months” Responsible Drinking Awareness Campaign by the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC in Lagos.
The mega rally which was jointly organized by the FRSC and Guinness Nigeria Plc.
Guinness plc in demonstration of its strong commitment to promoting the responsible consumption of alcohol, featured the International football icon and Guinness Made of Black ambassador, Thierry Henry.
Thierry Henry, who is in Nigeria as part of the Guinness’ Made of Black campaign, joined officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and other partners and road users at the event marking the end of the campaign.
This year’s campaign was flagged off at the Agege Park in Lagos and had been held in Benin and Abuja.
Speaking at the final rally, Managing Director/CEO, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mr. Peter Ndegwa said: “Through our ember month’s campaigns, we aim to play a part in helping consumers make the right choices. The message we deliver to consumers through our annual campaigns is consistent with our values at Guinness Nigeria. For this event, it is also great to have such a well-known and respected person as Thierry Henry who is an ambassador for our brand but also a great advocate for the responsible use of alcohol.”
“Consumers are at the heart of everything we do as an organization and they are the basis for our success. We are therefore genuinely interested in educating consumers on the dangers of alcohol misuse and increasing awareness of the positive role that alcohol can play in society and as part of a balanced lifestyle.” Ndegwa said.
Guinness Nigeria has been running the Ember month’s campaign in partnership with the Federal Road Safety Corps for 13 years and it has blossomed into an impactful platform, making it possible for both parties to jointly life-changing responsible drinking messages that annually reach millions of Nigerians.
Mr Ndegwa also commended the FRSC for the critical role it plays in helping to reduce accidents on the nation’s highways. “I would like to specially thank the FRSC for their partnership through the years and for the good work they do every day to ensure the safety of road users in Nigeria. As a company, we are proud of the impact we have been able to make through our partnership with the FRSC and other stakeholders this season. I’m positive that our collective actions will help promote the culture of responsible drinking amongst Nigerians.” he enthused.
Thierry Henry, who has been in Lagos since Sunday 17th has already been meeting fans and hosted the winners of the Guinness ‘Be a front row fan’ promotion to watch the West Brom v Manchester United EPL game on Sunday night.
Henry popularly called “Igwe” by Nigerian fans noted that he is very impressed with how Guinness Nigeria has, via this campaign, provided a unique opportunity for engagement with hundreds of thousands of people on the facts about alcohol, educating and empowering consumers to make informed decisions around if, when and how to drink.
“The misuse of alcohol is a real and on-going concern and Guinness is winning in its strategy on how to tackle it and find more meaningful solutions,” said Henry.
Corporate Relations Director, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mrs. Viola Graham-Douglas, who also addressed journalists at the closing ceremony said: “As a leading manufacturer of alcoholic beverages, Guinness Nigeria Plc makes effort to promote responsible drinking and work with other stakeholders to combat alcohol misuse. Some of the principles that have defined our approach include the need to combat alcohol abuse, setting standards for responsible marketing and innovation; and promoting a shared understanding of what responsible drinking means in order to reduce alcohol-related harm.”
She added, “It is our desire that the continued partnership with FRSC will galvanize other corporate institutions and organizations to commit and partner with us in raising awareness around responsible consumption of alcohol which would address the issue of ‘drink driving’ in Nigeria.” Graham-Douglas said.
On his part, Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Commission, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, commended Guinness Nigeria Plc for sustaining this giant stride for the past thirteen years, while taking into cognizance the fact that road safety is a shared responsibility.
“In Nigeria, the last four months of the year are often referred to as ‘ember months’ and have been greatly associated with increased incidence of road accidents and casualty. Due to the festivities in these months, particularly in December, there is an upsurge in movement of people travelling to various destinations, thus increasing the traffic on the roads. As we officially close this year’s ember months road safety responsible drinking campaign, I charge everyone to re-direct their minds toward good road use by obeying all rules and regulations. It is our collective responsibility to eradicate or reduce the ever-increasing volume of road crashes on our roads,” he stated.
The various events had representatives from the Nigerian Army, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers in attendance.
In his address, Zoal Commander, FRSC RS 2.0 Zonal Command, Assistant Corp Marshal Shehu Zaki stated that despite concerted efforts by the Corps and other stakeholders in the BSG group, driving under the influence of alcohol has continued to pose a great risk on our highways accounting for a significant percentage of crashes recorded.
He said “Analysis of the data collected so far has been quite revealin. During the period under review (Dec 8th, 2015 to Dec, 2017), a total of 1,449 persons have been randomly breathalyzed with 1,308 testing negative while 141 tested positive. Further analyses of the result from the study shows that out of the 141 positice cases; 68 drove buses, 37 cars, 26 articulated vehicles 8″.
Representative of Lagos State NURTW, Wale Ajilo commended FRSC and Guniess for their efforts in the road safety campaign. He however, advised those present to extend the message to those who were not present at the rally.
Mrs Ibitayo Adenike who representated the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said ” I appreciate the efforts of the FRSC to ensure that accidents are reduced on our roads.
She equally appealed to motorists to ensure that FRSC efforts are not wated and that they should take their passengers as their loved ones.
Mr Tayo Aboyeji, the Chairman of South-West Chapel of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), warned drivers to imbibe the culture of not drinking while driving, adding that it is important they they think about the people who depend on them.