International Breweries Plc has launched Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) programme, aimed at reducing the harmful effects of alcohol in the society.
The initiative being implemented by the New Nigeria Foundation (NNF) is a way of engaging and sensitizing the public on the dangers of excess consumption of alcohol.
The Programmes Deputy Director of New Nigeria Foundation, Mrs Bunmi Olatunde during a media round table meeting organized to promote RBS in Port Harcourt said International Breweries Plc is committed to the safety of its consumers.
She said Responsible Beverage Service Program is targeted at those who serve beverages and not consumers and stressed the need to promote RBS in the hospitality industry.
Mrs Olatunde advocated training and certificates in RBS as a prerequisite for working in any bar, hotels or restaurants where alcohol is sold as obtainable in other countries.
According to her, it is important for employers, waiters to acquire knowledge and skills for serving alcohol responsibly and fulfilling the legal requirements of alcohol service.
Harping on the need to promote RBS, the senior programmemanager Mr Fred Nwogu disclosed that about 3 million people, representing 5.3 per cent deaths and over 200 diseases and injuries occurr each year due to harmful use of alcohol as casual factor.
He further said that 13 percent deaths among 20-39 year old was attributed to alcohol harmful use globally revealing that the data was obtained from the United Nation and World Health Organisation.
Mr Nwogu explained that Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) is an intervention program to support alcohol service staff working in establishment like hotels, bars, restaurants, liquor stores in preventing sales to minors and pregnant women, reducing underage drinking and drunk driving.
According to him, “the harmful use of alcohol was coined by the World Health Organisation to describe any use of alcohol that causes harm to the drinker or those surrounding the drinker”.
He explained further that harmful use of alcohol is monitored by levels of alcohol consumption even as he expressed the need to provide RBS in Nigerian hospitality industry.
Nwogu commended the International Breweries PLC for its commitment towards reducing the harmful use of alcohol globally as part of its contributions to the global campaign to reduce the harmful use of alcohol.
“For many years, International Breweries PLC is committed to producing, marketing and getting its products responsibly and willing to continue to do so”, he concluded.