Written By David Ugbabe
The Bill seeking the end to the dichotomy between First Degrees graduates from universities and Higher National Diploma (HND) holders from polytechnics in the country has been read for the third time on the floor of the Senate.
The session which took place on Wednesday followed the consideration of the report of the Senate Joint Committee on Establishment and Public Service Matters; and Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND, during plenary. According to the report by the Chairman of the Joint Committee, Senator Ibrahim Shekarau, he said: “The enactment of the bill to abolish and prohibit discrimination between First Degrees and Higher National Diploma for the purpose of employment in Nigeria will no doubt free holders of HND from stagnation and ensure balanced treatment with their counterparts from other higher tertiary institutions in Nigeria.” He further stated that the successful passage of the bill will help in ensuring that the manpower needs of Nigerians would be made. It will also ensure social justice and enhanced corporate governance as well encourage patriotic contributions amongst HND employees in both public and private sectors.
At the Plenary, The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan recalled that the issue has been a major highlight in various conversations dating as far back as between 2003 and 2007 when the House of Representatives had the bill as one of its priorities. He noted that and it “is one way of encouraging our Polytechnic graduates.”
“This particular issue has been in the front burner for a long time. I recall that in the House of Representatives between 2003 and 2007, this was one bill that was so important, and is one way of encouraging our Polytechnic graduates.
“That should not take away from the kind of training they receive, but, in fact, it is supposed to be a motivation for our polytechnic graduates.
“I pray that the Federal Government and all those government agencies and the private sector would start to implement this by the time the President assents to this Bill.”
Sponsored by Senator Patrick Ayo Akinyelure, the bill seeks to resolve dichotomy as well as the lingering controversy, discrimination and wage and entry level disparity against HND holder in the public and private sectors of the economy.