By EricJames Ochigbo
A Bill for an Act to abolish the discrimination between First Degree and Higher National Diploma (HND) in same profession passed second reading in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
The bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Ali Isa (Gombe-PDP) and Rep. Edward Pwajok (Plateau-PDP), seeks to prohibit the existing dichotomy between both certificates.
Contributing to the debate, 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.
But, 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.
After the debate, the Speaker of the House, Mr Yakubu Dogara, forwarded the matter to the Committee on Tertiary Education and Services for further actions.