OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives has passed a bill to end the dichotomy between Higher National Diploma (HND) and university degrees in the country.
The third reading of the ‘bill for an act to abolish and prohibit dichotomy and discrimination between first degrees and HND in the same profession’ was passed during Tuesday’s plenary.
The legislation, which was sponsored by Ali Isa (APC, Gombe) and Edward Pwajok (PDP, Plateau) was adopted last week by the committee of the whole.
It seeks to end perceived discrimination against polytechnic graduates and remove the challenges faced by HND holders, especially those in the public service.
Speaking on the bill, Pwajok said the “discrimination” against the polytechnic graduates “had no moral justification” and that it would make the international community to look down on the status of educational institutions in the country.
The lawmaker had said there was a lot of segregation at employment level, and that “those with first degree are placed on grade level 8, while those with HND are placed on grade level 6 or 7.”
He had also said the discrimination reflects in salaries as some organisations pay degree holders N100,000 at entry level, while their counterparts with HND were paid N70,000.
He had said proper recognition being given to polytechnics and similar institutions in the country would also help in the development of the private sector.
Only recently, the federal government abolished the dichotomy between the two class of degree holders in the services under the ministry of interior.
The agencies affected were the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS) and Federal Fire Service (FFS).