In an attempt to discourage irresponsible drinking among corps members in the country, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), has teamed up with Nigeria’s alcoholic beverage company, Guinness Nigeria Plc – via the signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
This is contained in a statement issued by the company’s Corporate Communications Manager, Mr Olayinka Edmond, on Sunday in Abuja.
The MoU, which was signed at the NYSC Headquarters, was entitled “DrinkIQ Campaign’’.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Managing Director of Guinness, Mr Peter Ndegwa, said that the company was committed to creating awareness about responsible drinking of alcohol in Nigeria.
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Speaking on behalf of Ndegwa, Mr Sesan Sobowale, the company’s Corporate Relations Director, said alcohol consumed moderately and responsibly by adults who chose to drink could be part of a balanced lifestyle.
His words: “This is why we have used a variety of programmes to promote a culture in which adults who chose to drink can do so responsibly.
“We have worked in partnership with government, individuals, NGOs and other companies to tackle alcohol misuse, including excessive drinking, drinking while driving and under-age drinking.
“We have also taken measures to ensure that our products are advertised and marketed responsibly, that is why we will not issue an advert without clearly stating that it is not for people under 18.’’
“This is to promote alcohol education and to tackle misuse by advocating effective evidence-based policy.
“In line with our commitment to creating awareness about responsible drinking, Guinness Nigeria will be partnering NYSC to deliver Drink IQ training sessions, targeted at corps members and ultimately, the general public.
“Our intent is to start with train-the-trainers programme where these trainers will in turn train other people who will be advocates in their places of primary assignments.
“Guinness will begin this training with the officials of NYSC drawn from 36 states of the federation who will in turn facilitate these sessions in orientation camps across the country.’’
In his remarks, the Director- General, NYSC, Brigadier- General Sule Kazaure, who was represented by the director, Community Development Service and Special Projects, Mrs Rhoda Kaka Kwaki, described the partnership as a clear demonstration of the company’s positive disposition towards the welfare and development of Nigerians, particularly, the youth.
He bemoaned that those, who drank to stupor have lost their lives to accidents, destroyed their homes, lost their jobs as well as developed major killer diseases like liver cirrhosis.
Kwaki said: “The NYSC scheme in the past 43 years has not relented on its effort in ensuring that its mandate is vigorously pursued thereby making meaningful impact on the lives of its host communities.
“It is noteworthy to mention that through partnering national and international organisations, non-governmental organisations and faith-based organisations, the scheme has facilitated the realisation of set goals and objectives of its partners.
“It is against this backdrop that the goal of this partnership is on Drink IQ (meaning responsible drinking).
“What we have sown today will blossom into an enduring and sustainable entity for the benefit of our communities and environs.’’