In further demonstration of its avowed commitment to promote road safety and sustainable transport systems in the country, Guinness Nigeria Plc, a subsidiary of Diageo Plc, has partnered with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to drive advocacy for a heightened safety culture on the roads during the Benin leg of the Guinness Nigeria 2018 Transport and Safety Week.
With the theme, “Be Safe, Smart, Alert, Focused and Educated”, Nigeria’s only total beverage alcohol company advised its employees, particularly drivers, to imbibe the core values of a safety-first approach at all times and adopt best practices in road safety that include vehicle safety, good condition of engine, and tyres among others.
Speaking at the event, the Supply Chain Director of Guinness Nigeria, Mr. Colman Hanna, represented by the Site Director, Benin plant, Mr. Adebayo Alli, noted that the company has taken safety from the baseline to the main stream while adding that the Safety Week programme was put together to engage, educate and remind Guinness employees, particularly transporters, of the importance of staying safe while at work and driving on the roads. “Safety should be our overriding focus as a way of life, and exemplified in the way we work as well as the activities we engage in,” Alli said.
“We believe that a single death caused by drinking and driving can and must be prevented. We have consistently carried out an audit of all its trucks to ensure that they meet the mechanical and physical standards that we have set and we are very encouraged that in the last few years, the number of alcohol related fatalities has fallen significantly across the country. We are committed to playing our role in eradicating harm caused by drink driving in Nigeria with programmes of this nature that would hold for three days and engage over 600 hundred stakeholders,” he added.
In his remarks, the Sector Commander, FRSC Edo Command, Mr. Anthony Okoh, who was represented by Deputy Corp Commander, Mr. Udensi Emea Oji, advocated eye, blood pressure and sugar level tests for commercial, trucks and other logistics and haulage drivers by their employers.
“The management of organizations like this should adequately encourage drivers on how they can manage their health. This transport / safety week programme should be an opportunity for the drivers to undergo free eye, blood pressure, sugar level tests and other vital medical checks. I have never seen any commercial drivers using eyeglasses. Is it that all of their eye sights are in good condition? The test the FRSC did for the drivers in the state some time ago, the outcome was quite revealing. A good number of them were referred for further medical attention,” he said.
He also commended Guinness Nigeria for organizing the three-day event noting that such programmes will go a long way in helping the commission entrench sanity on Nigeria roads.
Guinness Nigeria has invested in several activities and initiatives of the Federal Road Safety Corps. In 2015 and earlier this year, Guinness Nigeria donated breathalysers to FRSC. The Transport and Safety Week programme will feature engagement sessions with officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Medical Services providers, Fire Service, Nigerian Red Cross and the Media. The highlight of activities will be the Safety Road Walk.
It will be recalled that global beverage alcohol company, Diageo and United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) had launched a two-year partnership in 2017 entitled ‘Road Safety Initiative for Cities’, with the aim of building individual and institutional capacity of stakeholders around the world to reduce traffic deaths and injuries.