16th September, 2011
Following the ultimatum given by the Lagos State Government to operators of unpainted commuter vehicles, the National Disabled Transport Association and Disabled Sport and Joint National Persons with Disability, JONAPED, have promised to paint all the vehicles operated by the associations in the approved Lagos State colour of yellow with black stripes and remove all inscriptions on their buses immediately.
The association made this promise when its members led by Mr. Patrick Ene met with the Commissioner of Transportation, Comrade Kayode Opeifa, in his office at Alausa, Ikeja over the ultimatum.
Ene said that henceforth all commuter vehicles in the fleet of the association would no longer violate traffic rules and regulations such as driving on BRT corridor, the expressway, one-way drive, turning on the kerbs or operating on unapproved routes which they were hitherto noted for.
He said that the association would cooperate with the state government in the realization of its ongoing transformation of the transport sector and in taking the sector to a greater height.
Responding, Comrade Kayode Opeifa, who commended the efforts of the disabled persons in venturing into transport business and for promising to adhere strictly to traffic rules and regulations, urged the association not to renege on its promise as the officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, the Vehicle Inspection Officers, VIOs and other law enforcement agents would not hesitate to bring to book any vehicle operator violating the law.
He said the Lagos State Government is not in any way making life unbearable for the disabled persons or forcing them out of transport business, rather, the enforcement of this existing law and order is to transform the transport sector and ensure that commuter busesâ€™ operators obey the law. According to him, disability does not mean disobedience to existing laws of the land or that the physically-challenged should be pitied, instead, they are to be respected and treated like any other person.
The commissioner said that the Lagos State Government being a responsive and responsible government that has the interest of the disabled persons at heart and doing its best to protect them, has become the only state in Nigeria that has signed a law to establish the office for disability affairs.
Opeifa reminded the associations that there are so many opportunities to tap in the transport sector if the disabled persons are law abiding, well-behaved and united adding that if the associations had two years ago fulfilled all the necessary obligations expected of it, its transport business would have been well coordinated and properly managed than what it is today.
The Lagos State Government on 6 September, 2011 gave a 14-day ultimatum to operators of commercial vehicles not painted in Lagos colour and those with inscriptions such as â€˜Gallant Mopol,â€ â€œDisabled Sport,â€ â€œCompetent Handicap, â€œAwol,â€ etc to comply with its directive or risk their vehicles being impounded.