The Senate, on Wednesday, passed a bill seeking to abolish the dichotomy between the Higher National Diploma certificate and the university degree holders in the country.
The piece of legislation, sponsored by Senator Ayo Akinyelure, passed the third reading on the floor of the Senate at plenary.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on tertiary institutions and TETFUND, Ahmad Kaita, presented his report and 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, as well encourage patriotic contributions amongst HND employees in both public and private sectors.
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, in his remarks after the bill was passed, emphasised that the passage of the bill would serve as motivation for polytechnic graduates.
He, therefore, called on the public and private sectors to ensure the implementation of the bill’s provisions as soon as it is signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Lawan 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.
“[And] 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.”