Nigerian lawmakers pass bill prohibiting discrimination between BSc, HND Holders

*The Joint Committee of the Senate says the bill will free holders of the Higher National Diploma from stagnation, and ensure balanced treatment with their counterparts from other higher tertiary institutions in the country

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

IN a move towards resolving the long-standing dichotomy and attendant disquiet among graduates and holders of the two academic certificates in Nigeria, the Senate has passed a bill seeking to prohibit discrimination between the University Degree and Higher National Diploma (HND) certificate holders.

The bill, sponsored by Senator Ayo Akinyelure, has passed the third reading during the Senate plenary session Wednesday, June 2.

Senator Ibrahim Shekerau, Chairman of the Joint Committee of the Senate, which worked in the legislation, disclosed the bill would free the holders of HND from stagnation and ensure balanced treatment with their counterparts from other higher tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

The Federal lawmaker stated 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 encourage patriotic contributions among HND employees in both public and private sectors of the economy.

It was learnt that earlier, Senator Shekarau had moved that the Upper House of the National Assembly (NASS) should receive and consider the report of the Joint Committee on Establishment and Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND on the Prohibition of Discrimination between First Degrees and Higher National Diplomas Bill, 2021 (SB.297).

Senator Sadiq Umar seconded the motion, and Senate dissolved into Committee of the Whole to consider the report.

The Senate in the Committee of the Whole and Plenary then considered and approved Clauses 1-6 of the bill.

It is recalled that the House of Representatives had passed its own version of the same bill May 2019.

Senate President Ahmed Lawan, while congratulating the House on the development said the bill had been in the process for a long time.

Lawan stated: “Congratulations to the Senate. This particular issue has been on the front burner for a long time.

“I recall that in the House between 2003 and 2007, this was one Bill that was so important and it is a way of encouraging our Polytechnic graduates.

“This should not take away the kind of training they give but should be a motivation for our Polytechnic graduates.”

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