he Senate has passed a bill seeking to prohibit discrimination between the university degree and the Higher National Diploma (HND) certificate holders in the country.
The bill was sponsored by Senator Ayo Akinyelure and passed the third reading during Wednesday’s plenary session.
The Chairman of the Joint Committee which worked in the legislation Senator Ibrahim Shekerau said the bill will free the holders of HND from stagnation and ensure balanced treatment with their counterparts from other higher tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
He added that the abolishment of the existing dichotomy between HND holders and graduates of Universities would meet the huge manpower needs of Nigerians, ensure social justice and enhanced corporate governance, as well encourage patriotic contributions amongst HND employees in both public and private sectors.
Senator Ibrahim Shekarau had earlier moved that the Senate do receive and consider the report of the Joint Committee on Establishment and Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND on the Prohibition of Discrimination between First Degrees and Higher National Diplomas Bill, 2021 (SB.297).
The motion was seconded by Senator Sadiq Umar and Senate dissolved into Committee of the Whole to consider the report.
The Senate in the Committee of the Whole and Plenary then considered and approved Clauses 1-6 of the bill.
The House of Representatives passed its own version of the bill in May 2019.
Senate President Ahmed Lawan while congratulating the House said the bill has been in the process for a long time.
“Congratulations to the Senate. This particular issue has been on the front burner for a long time. I recall that in the House between 2003 and 2007, this was one Bill that was so important and it is a way of encouraging our Polytechnic graduates.
“This should not take away the kind of training they give but should be a motivation for our Polytechnic graduates,” the Senate President said.