By Mark C. Orgu, November 26, 2021. News/Comments
With the recent passage of a bill by the House of Representatives during the week which seeks to abolish the discrimination between University degrees of Bachelor’s of Arts/Science, BA/BSc and the Higher National Diplomas, HNDs awarded by polytechnics is finally coming to an end if President Muhammadu Buhari assent to it. Thus, if Mr. President does, HND holders can now rise to the position of directors, level 14 and above, and equally enjoy what their counterparts who went to the University enjoys.
However, the bill Titled “A Bill for an Act to Abolish and Prohibit Dichotomy and Discrimination between First Degree and Higher National Diploma in the Same Profession/Field for the Purpose of Employment; and for Related Matters”, imposes strict penalties for both the public and private employers of labour, they include; “Any person or entity in the public or private sectors of the Nigerian economy who contravenes the provisions of this bill commits an offence under this bill and shall be liable upon conviction to a term of two years’ imprisonment or a fine of N1,000,000 or both, “Any person or entity in the public or private sectors of the Nigerian economy who design, prescribe and or specify any guidelines, terms or conditions of employment, career progression, and or any other instrument by whatever name called in violation of the provisions of this bill shall be guilty of an offence under this bill and liable upon conviction to a term of 1-year imprisonment or a fine of N500,000 (five hundred thousand naira) or both”, it states. Prescribing appropriate sanctions, the bill states that any person who induces or encourages any other person for the violation of any of the provisions of this bill shall be liable upon conviction to a fine of N500,000, imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both, etc.
But reacting to the development is the National President, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, (ASUP), Comrade, Anderson Ezeibe, who related to Afrikanwatch Network via Whatsapp message when contacted said that, it is a welcome development as Union wait patiently for President Buhari’s assent as soon as possible: “The passage of the bill in the House of Representatives is a good development. We are waiting for a conclusion of the legislative process and signing of the bill by the President” Asked … of what impact will it make in the Polytechnic education, especially funding , which has been a great challenge to the technical know-how and manpower. “We expect that the sector will become more attractive to young Nigerians and translate to the provision of greater access to technical and technological education in the country. In the long run, it is expected that this will translate to positive impact on employment indices and the economy as a whole”
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