The National Association of Polytechnic Students has urged the President, Major General Muhammadu (retd.), to make efforts to end the dichotomy between the Higher National Diploma and Bachelor of Science holders before leaving office on May 29, 2023.
NAPS deputy Senate President, Adeniji Temitope, in a statement made available to The PUNCH on Monday, said it was no more news that Nigerian polytechnic students and polytechnic graduates “have been facing difficulties of dichotomy for the past years.”
Adeniji said stakeholders in the polytechnic education sector had urged the Ninth National Assembly to pass the “Bill for an Act to Abolish and Prohibit Dichotomy and Discrimination between First Degree and Higher National Diploma.”
The PUNCH reports that in 2021, the Senate passed a bill seeking to abolish the dichotomy between the HND certificate and the university degree holders in the country.
The piece of legislation, sponsored by Senator Ayo Akinyelure, passed the third reading on the floor of the Senate at plenary.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND, Ahmad Kaita, presented his report and all the amended six clauses were approved by the Senate.
Chairman of the Joint Committee, Ibrahim Shekarau (APC, Kano Central), said, “the enactment of the bill to abolish and prohibit discrimination between First Degrees and Higher National Diploma for the purpose of employment in Nigeria will no doubt free holders of HND from stagnation and ensure balanced treatment with their counterparts from other higher tertiary institutions in Nigeria.”
NAPS lauded the development saying the Ninth National Assembly had done a very good job by passing the Bill but the President’s assent to make it a law was necessary.
“The Senate arm of NAPS through the Office of Deputy Senate President has agreed on shutting down all polytechnics, colleges of technology and allied institutions that award HND across Nigeria if President Buhari doesn’t assent to the HND/BSc dichotomy bill in the next 14 days,” the statement said.
The student body said it had observed that Buhari had been assenting to many bills, but the HND/BSc dichotomy bill was left out, vowing to “occupy the Presidential Villa in Abuja and continue to cry until Buhari assents to the bill.”
Polytechnic students and graduates are one of the major persons that supported and sustained the regime of the President, the statement adds. “We shouldn’t be treated like an outcast in our nation.”
“President Buhari should stop the HND/BSc dichotomy now and make it one of his major achievements,” he said.