The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill to end the dichotomy between Degree and Higher National Diploma (HND) in recruitment and other employment-related matters.
This followed the adoption of a report by the House Committee on Tertiary Education and TETFund on the Prohibition of Discrimination between First Degrees and Higher National Diplomas Bill 2021.
The bill sought to make it a criminal offence for public and private organisations to discriminate against HND certificate holders in recruitments, promotions or any other matters related to jobs and employments.
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, it reads: “Holders of the First Degree and the HND shall be given equal treatment and opportunity in career placements, career progression, admission to further studies and privileges whatsoever in consideration of status as graduates of Nigeria tertiary institutions of higher learning.
“Notwithstanding any provision in any legislation, circular, regulation or policy guideline, First Degree and Higher National Diploma shall be deemed construed and treated as equivalent qualification for the purpose of employment and career progression at workplace in the public and private sectors of the Nigerian economy.
“Any provision in laws, enactments, instruments, circulars, scheme of service, directives, or policies by whatever name called, which is inconsistent with the provisions of this bill, shall to the extent of the inconsistency be null and void, and of no effect.
“All forms of discriminations and or dichotomy between First Degree and Higher National Diplomas for the purpose of employment, transfer of service, conversion of cadre, career progression, promotion, and other related issues in the public and private sectors of the Nigerian economy is hereby abolished.
“No person, authority, entity (body or corporate) in whatsoever name call shall discriminate and or undertake any action in any form whatsoever which is misconstrued as and or intended to give any preferential treatment in favour of and/or against holders of the First Degree or the Higher National Diploma.
“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”.