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Again, HND, Degree Discrimination Divides Nigerian Senate

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Senators in the upper legislative chamber of the National Assembly yesterday disagreed over a bill seeking to address the discrimination between First Degree and Higher National Diplomas (HND) holders for the purpose of employment and promotion in the country.

The bill, sponsored by Senator Ayo Akinyelure (PDP, Ondo Central), however, passed second reading after the disagreement. Some senators, who contributed to the debate on the floor of the senate, had divergentviewsontheissue, noting that the discrimination had affectedtheproductivityof those discriminated against. The Minority Leader, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, pointed out that instead of debating the bill, the Federal Government should be encouraged to implement what it had already started, adding that the sponsor of the bill said that the Federal Government was already working on it.

He said: “I find it difficult to support what the government is already implementing, because he said that there is a circular to that effect. It is already being done, why are we debating it. “Since the government is already doing it, we have to encourage the government to continue. We should support the government.” In his own contribution, Senator James Manager (PDP, Delta South), said what the bill sought to do was provide a legal framework for the issue, lamenting that; “I don’t know where this disparity started from.

It is unfortunate.” He, however, said that the senate would be guided on the best way to make the bill achieve its objectives, during public hearing. Senator Ibrahim Gobir (APC, Sokoto East), on his part added that HND deals in practical, addingthatmaking degrees and HNDs same was likegoingagainstthelawthat established them. He said that in promotion, the bar against career progression of HND holders should be removed.

Senator Saidu Ahmed Alkali (APC, Gombe North), said that it was wrong to terminate the appointment of an HND holders at a particular level in his or her career. Leading debate on the bill, Senator Akinyelure called for harmonisation of ranks among officers, adding that promotion of officers should be based on productivity.

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