BusinessDay

IBPLC to train 10,000 Nigerians on responsible retailing of alcoholic drinks

International Breweries Plc said it will through its Responsible Beverage Services (RBS) initiative train about 10,000 Nigerians on alcohol retailing and abuse in order to reduce the rate of alcohol-related harms.

This was said at the Smart Drinking Roundtable held in Lagos recently with the theme: ‘Enhancing the Social Consciousness Around Responsible Beverage Service: A Collective Responsibility of Stakeholders’.

Temitope Oguntokun, the director, Legal & Corporate Affairs of International Breweries Plc, said the move will discourage sensitive segments of the society such as children, underage and pregnant women from being attended to in bars.

She announced that the company has shortlisted people to be representatives in 15 select countries where the rollout of the RBS initiative will be carried out by AB InBev, globally.

She said Nigeria, Zambia, and South Africa are among the three countries that were selected in Africa.

Hugo Rocha, managing director of International Breweries Plc, said that smart drinking has become part of the IBPLC, and the company will continue to work towards bringing that culture to the communities.

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According to Rocha, the business of International Breweries goes beyond making sales to cut across making the world a better place and bringing cheers to its stakeholders.

“We recognise that millions of consumers enjoy our products every day. So, year on year, we continue to work across sectors to disrupt harmful drinking,” he said.

Adesegun Fatusi, the president of the Society for Adolescent and Young People’s Health in Nigeria, said there is a need for collaboration among the government, non-governmental organisations and communities to raise conscious actions to reduce harmful alcohol use.

He said various countries have established different standards and procedures that regulate the consumption of alcohol, which must be enforced by all critical stakeholders.

Osagie Emmanuel Ehanire, the Minister of Health, who commended the initiative, said it will go a long way in reducing alcohol consumption among underage and pregnant women.

“While recognising the socio-economic implications of the alcohol industry, programmes such as the Responsible Beverage Service are expected to uphold ethical standards that promote the principles of public health,” said the minister, who was represented by Olubunmi Arebeana, director, Food and Drug Services Department of the Federal Ministry of Health.

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