Diageo, UN agency harp on road safety

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Diageo, a global leader in the beverage alcohol industry and parent company of Guinness Nigeria Plc, have partnered the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) to promote road safety and sustainable transport systems in the country.
At a two-day workshop at the University of Lagos, Akoka, Guinness Nigeria PLC Corporate Relations Director Mr Sesan Sobowale, noted that by partnering UNITAR, Guinness Nigeria/Diageo shows its continued commitment to the responsible use of alcohol and the prevention of alcohol-related road traffic accidents.
He said: “We believe that a single death caused by drinking and driving is one too many and can and must be prevented. We are encouraged that over the last few years, the number of alcohol related fatalities has fallen significantly in many countries. However, there is more to do and we are committed to playing our role in eradicating harm caused by drink driving in Nigeria. This new partnership with UNITAR is important as it will allow us to work together to deliver the global goal of halving drink driving road traffic deaths”.
The event was attended by the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Mallam Sabiu Zakari who represented the Minister for Transportation, the Lagos State Commissioner for Transport, Prince Anofiu Elegushi, the Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Ogun State command, Commander Clement Oladele, his Lagos counterpart, Mr. Hyginus Omeje and Sustainable transport experts from Kennesaw State University, Georgia in United States. The conference was also attended by transportation and road safety resource persons from Benin Republic, Ghana, Cote d’Ivore and Togo.
In their submissions, speakers outlined strategies that will help Nigeria create a sustainable transportation system while ensuring the safety of road users.
Country Head and Resident Representative of UNITAR in Nigeria, Dr Larry Boms, said road safety is a top priority in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which aims to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries by 50 per cent by 2020.
“I am looking forward to bringing to fruition this new initiative between the United Nations and Guinness Nigeria/Diageo. Achieving the 2030 Development Agenda and its different goals will only be possible through innovative partnerships with the private sector such as this one, where different stakeholders join forces to reach specific beneficiaries and targets by sharing their respective expertise and resources,” he said.
Oladele, who represented FRSC Corp Marshal, Boboye Oyeyemi, observed that about three percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is lost to road crashes every year and stressed the need to address the human factor element in road safety interventions.

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