On Wednesday, the Senate read for the third time and passed a bill aimed at ending discrimination in the country between university graduates and holders of Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) from polytechnics.
During plenary, the Senate Joint Committee on Establishment and Public Service Matters; and Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND considered the report of the Senate Joint Committee on Establishment and Public Service Matters; and Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND.
Senator Ibrahim Shekarau, Chairman of the Joint Committee, stated in his report, “The enactment of the bill to abolish and prohibit discrimination between First Degrees and Higher National Diplomas 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 will no doubt free holders of HND from stagnation and ensure balanced treatment with their counterparts from other higher tertiary institutions in Nigeria.”
He went on to say that eliminating the existing divide between HND holders and university graduates would help Nigerians meet their massive manpower needs, ensure social justice and better corporate governance, and encourage patriotic contributions among HND employees in both the public and private sectors.
In his contribution, Senate President Ahmad Lawan stated that the Bill’s passing would act as inspiration for polytechnic graduates.
He urged both the public and private sectors to ensure that the Bill’s provisions are implemented as soon as President Muhammadu Buhari signs it into law.
“This is a subject that has been on my mind for a long time. I recall this bill being quite crucial in the House of Representatives between 2003 and 2007, and it is one way of encouraging our Polytechnic graduates.
“This should not detract from the quality of their education; rather, it should serve as a motivator for our polytechnic graduates.
Senator Patrick Ayo Akinyelure sponsored the bill, which aims to end the continuing controversy, discrimination, and wage and entry level difference between HND holders in the public and private sectors of the economy.
It also aims to help Nigeria grow technologically by encouraging a large number of eligible applicants to pursue polytechnic and technology education.
Senator Akinyelure had argued in his lead debate during the Bill’s second reading that discriminating against HND holders would jeopardise the country’s key policy goal of developing a technological and scientifically based society.
According to the findings, some polytechnic graduates were better on the field than their university colleagues in several circumstances.
“A government employment policy that prioritises degree holders over HND holders without regard for the HND holder’s talent and competence causes more harm than good to the nation’s development plans,” Akinyelure had remarked.
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