Story from Kenneth AFOR, Lagos
The Senate has passed a bill seeking to abolish the discrimination between Higher National Diploma (HND) and Bachelor’s degree.
The bill scaled third reading at the upper chamber on Wednesday, after Ahmad Kaita, chairman of the Committee on Tertiary Institutions, presented a report and six clauses were voted on by the senators.
Chairman of the Joint Committee, Senator Ibrahim Shekarau, in his report, 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 freeholders of HND from stagnation and ensure balanced treatment with their counterparts from other higher tertiary institutions in Nigeria.”
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, in his contribution, said “This particular issue has been on 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,” he said.
He added that the abolishment of the existing dichotomy between HND holders and graduates of Universities would meet the huge manpower needs of Nigerians, ensure social justice and enhanced corporate governance as well encourage patriotic contributions amongst HND employees in both public and private sectors.