Updated: Reps passes bill to abolish degree, HND dichotomy

The House of Representatives has passed a bill to abolish and prohibit discrimination between first degrees and Higher National Diplomas (HND) in the same profession.

The bill, which was presented Tuesday by Representative Mohammed Mongonu (APC -Borno) at the plenary presided over by the Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara, would end the discrimination in civil service and other parastatals where the holders are not elevated beyond level 14. 

The bill was sponsored by Representatives Ali Isa (Gombe-PDP) and Edward Pwajok (Plateau-PDP) had initially passed second reading in April, 2017. 

While leading the debate for the bill to pass second reading, Pwajok said a 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. 

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