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Bill to end Higher National Diploma discrimination, in Nigeria, passes second reading in the Senate
| October 23, 2014
A bill for an Act to "Abolish and Prohibit Dichotomy and Discrimination between First Degrees and Higher National Diploma" in the same Profession/Field scaled the second reading on the Senate floor. According to Ayo Akinyelure, the member representing Ondo Central Senatorial District, the bill aims to promote the technological advancement of Nigeria by encouraging qualified candidates to pursue polytechnic and technological advancement. It also seeks to end the wage disparity and discrimination against HND holders in both the public and private sector. Akinyelure said that discrimination against HND holders was destroying the nationâs core policy and that research has found that, in some cases, some polytechnic graduates were even better than their university counterparts. The Senate President, Sen. David Mark, also said that legislating on the bill will be difficult because polytechnics were never supposed to be degree awarding institutions, and that, rather than abolishing the dichotomy, polytechnics should be changed to degree awarding institutions. âThe problem here is whether we can legislate on this. I think obviously that is not going to work for several reasons that we have all advanced here. âWe canât legislate here and say you must employ an HND instead of employing somebody with B.SC. I think it is more of attitude than what we can legislate on but we can get an arrangement where the polytechnics begin to award degrees, in which case the polytechnics will no more be polytechnics; they will be universities,â he said. He also added that to equate an HND to a degree is not going to work. âNobody who has done a degree has gone back to the polytechnic to do HND and you canât blame that logic,â Meanwhile, Sen. Abubakar Bagudu, a member of the Senate Committee on Education, said that there should be a standardisation of policy should the dichotomy be abolished, especially since universities and polytechnics had fundamentally different structures. âThe university is theory and research oriented, as compared to polytechnic which is supposed to turn out industrial ready graduates,â he said. The Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Education, Prof. Olusola Adeyeye, called for the harmonisation of both institutions to enable polytechnics to award degrees. He said, âWe need to make the admission standard the same for polytechnics and universities; forget the dichotomy issue. It is a lie to say you need HND to run an industrial state.â While not condemning the bill, Sen. David Mark said the bill should be sent for public hearing to allow for relevant stakeholders to express their views on the issue of dichotomy. âThe whole essence of allowing the bill to go through second reading and public reading is for us to get more ideas about how to get the way forward. That will be the only benefit that will come out of it,â the Senate President said.

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"The views and opinions expressed in these comment(s) or article(s) do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of NGEX, its partners or its affiliates."
OMOTAYO, J. A.    Eldoret, KENYA    October 23, 2014
There is no need for this bill. I am even disappointed with the contribution of the professor. The truth is that whether in the civil service or in the private sector, such dichotomy expressed by the legislators die out rapidly after level 10 in the civil service and its equivalent in the private sector. Why? As a professional, you are mandated to get professional registration for further relevance in the establishment or organization.

For Engineers, you are supposed to register with the Nigerian Society of Engineers and Council for Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria. Accountants are supposed to register with Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria. Builders are supposed to register with Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria. The same applies to bankers, etc. Every profession has a registration body.

No Ministry, Corporation or Company discriminates against any registered professional. All registered professionals are rated on the basis of corporate membership or fellowship and performance on duty. That is the truth.

There has been no restrictions for professional registration against HND or BSc holders. The only restriction is personal. Individuals who have failed to qualify imagine discrimination whereas those who have passed and are registered do not. The import is that professionals must thrive to sit for and prepare well to pass the qualifying examinations and interviews. Polytechnics are not supposed to award BSc and universities are not supposed to award HND. Let the status quo remain.
God save Nigeria.
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