The Cross River State government is partnering Beer Sectoral Group (BSG) of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) to check underage drinking in Cross River State.
Delivering a keynote address at the relaunch of the “Smashed Project” recently in a ceremony organised by BSG in collaboration with the Cross River State Ministry of Quality Education addressing underage drinking in Nigeria, the governor of Cross River State, Senator Ben Ayade said, “partnerships of this nature are crucial as the government and private sector have a better chance of achieving their shared objectives when they work together”.
The governor who was represented by his deputy, Professor Ivara Esu, said, “There is no gain saying that the private sector comes with significant insights. In this case, the BSG has extensive experience in social advocacy against harmful consumption of alcohol, such as the Smashed Project and the BSG campaign against drinking to mention a few.
“The Government of Cross River state is keen to build on such industry insights and have them applied for the benefits of the good people of our state as the Smashed Project is also aligned with the Cross River State Government’s focus on youth development and empowerment”.
He stated that the Smashed Project is an educational journey that takes its audience through the reasons why alcohol is not for persons below 18 years and why it is important to abide by this rule and as “government, we shall continue to support laudable initiatives such as the Smashed Project”.
Chairman of the Group Mr Jord Borrut Bel the Smashed Project is out to address underage drinking in Nigeria and “it was introduced in Nigeria in 2018 and has so far been delivered in Lagos, Abuja FCT, Ogun, Edo, Enugu, Anambra and Delta states, covering over 100 different localities, both urban and rural.
He said the project “has reached about 35,000 students in over 170 public and private schools in Nigeria and enjoyed the immense cooperation of State Ministries of Education, principals, teachers, guidance counsellors and students – with more of them understanding the risk factors associated with underage drinking and how to detect and prevent such risks from materializing.
“The BSG plans to continue to deliver Smashed Project on an annual basis, with a focus on reaching a minimum of 12,000 students across 60 schools in three states in this year alone (referring to Cross River, Delta and Oyo states)…engages teachers in the schools, enlightening them on how to engage their students on the consequences of underage drinking”.