Sunday Aborisade, Abuja
The House of Representatives has passed a bill which abolished the existing dichotomy between Polytechnic Higher National Diploma and the Bachelor of Science degree awarded by the Nigerian universities.
The bill was passed during Tuesday’s plenary.
The legislation, which was sponsored by Ali Isa and Edward Pwajok from Gombe and Plateau States respectively, was passed for second reading since April 2017.
It seeks to end perceived discrimination against polytechnic graduates and remove the challenges being faced by HND holders, especially those in the public service.
While leading the debate for the bill to pass second reading, Pwajok said research he carried out on both certificates, showed that the discrimination had no moral justification.
He said that the unfortunate situation would make the international community to look down on the status of educational institutions in the country.
The lawmaker said that it was unfortunate that such discrimination existed in a critical sector required for national development, regretting that there was a lot of segregation at employment level.
According to him, those with first degree are placed on Grade Level 8, while those with HND are placed on Grade Level 6 or 7.
He said that in some organisations, degree holders were paid N100, 000 at entry level, while their counterparts with HND were paid N70, 000.
The lawmaker said in other countries, technical experts were paid higher than administrators, adding that “the reverse is the case in the country’’.
He said that if the private sector must develop, proper recognition must be given to polytechnics and similar institutions in the country.