The Higher National Diploma and University Degree will now be equivalent in the workplace as bills to scrap out age-long dichotomy scales through third reading.
The age-long disparity between the two qualifications in the workplace had become worrisome as graduates with HND were given less attention compared to the University Degree holders.
Following public outcry on this perceived problem, a bill to scrap out the dichotomy was presented at the floor of the Senate.
The bill sponsored by Senator Ayo Akinyelure and presented by Chairman, Senate Committee on Tertiary Institution and TetFund, Ahmad Kaita scaled through third reading during Tuesday’s plenary.
All the amended six clauses were approved by the senate.
Chairman of the Joint Committee, Ibrahim Shekarau (APC, Kano Central) 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.”
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, and as well encourage patriotic contributions amongst HND employees in both public and private sectors.
On his part, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan noted that the bill when passed into law will encourage polytechnic graduates in the workplace.
Lawan said, “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.”
The Senate President called on public and private sectors to ensure the bill is implemented as soon as President Muhammadu Buhari assent the law.