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IBPLC trains 689, impacts 9,667 on responsible beverage service

IBPLC trains 689, impacts 9,667 on responsible beverage service

International Breweries Plc (IBPLC), a member of AB InBev, has concluded its one-year Responsible Beverage Service programme in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

The initiative, aimed at discouraging harmful use of alcohol, was successfully concluded leaving a positive impact on communities and members.

Conceived by the AB InBev Foundation, the programme delivered targeted training to bar owners and managers through comprehensive sessions, simultaneously breathing new life into local communities via initiatives like clean-up exercises.

The intervention programme aimed to mitigate alcohol-related harms attributed to problems such as drunk driving, underage drinking, binge drinking, and alcohol consumption by pregnant women.

During the exercise, the team engaged in various outreach programmes, including health sensitisation sessions for pregnant women and those of reproductive age at the Model Primary Health Centre in Orogbum.

Executive training sessions were also conducted for members of the Association of Hotel Owners and Managers at the Mimi Fish and Lounge, Old Aba Road, Rumuomasi. It was also carried out at Ambassador Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Rumuolumene, among other institutions.

In Rivers State, the initiative saw 302 proprietors and administrators of alcohol service establishments equipped with the necessary tools and knowledge to effectively implement responsible beverage service.

About 387 servers, bar attendants, and security personnel were also trained on RBS practices, resulting in improved service delivery in the hospitality sector. The RBS project impacted a total of 9,667 persons directly and an estimated 101,663, amounting to about 5 percent of the population of the target Local Government Areas.

Edna Tekena, a bar manager and one of the attendees, expressed gratitude to IBPLC for enlightening her on the dangers inherent in excessive alcohol consumption.

She said she has stopped serving pregnant women requesting alcohol and has been educating them on the dangers of consuming alcohol while pregnant.

“I encourage them to abstain for the sake of having healthy babies,” she said.

Gladys Onoh, one of the pregnant women, who benefited from the RBS campaign, said her doctor warned her to stay away from alcohol when she was pregnant but when International Breweries’ Responsible Beverage Service came to her area in Port Harcourt with the same message, she was reminded to take it seriously.

“Today, anytime I look at my baby I am glad I listened. I am grateful to AB InBev Foundation and International Breweries for this initiative,” she said.

James Ogunro, a hotel owner, said he has learnt how to best manage his business as an entrepreneur.

“I have a better rapport with our customers as I have been equipped to manage and enlighten them on the benefits of consuming alcohol responsibly, thanks to the training I attended courtesy of the responsible beverage service programme by the AB InBev Foundation,” he said.

Damian Igwe, corporate affairs manager, Corporate Affairs and Regulatory Department of International Breweries Plc, said International Breweries believes in promoting responsible consumption of alcohol which goes beyond making great products and profits.

He said the company thrives when communities thrive, which is why they ensure the company’s products are consumed responsibly.

“We are satisfied with the outcome of this intervention, and we have been able to train 689 people in the two years of running the programme in Lagos and Rivers states,” Igwe said.

In 2015, AB InBev launched the Global Smart Drinking Goals, with a target of reducing harmful alcohol use by at least 10 percent in six cities by the end of 2020, this objective was successfully achieved.

In Nigeria, following the first phase of success in Lagos, over 10,000 individuals across five local governments – Ibeju Lekki LGA, Amuwo-Odofin LGA, Surulere LGA, Eti-Osa LGA, and Kosofe LGA benefited from the RBS initiative in 2022; Port-Harcourt was selected as one of the cities for the second phase roll-out which has now been completed.