ABUJA/Nigeria: The Coalition of HND Stakeholders has commended the National Assembly for the passage of the bill to abolish the dichotomy between first degree and Higher National Diploma holders (HND).
Mr Sebastian Onyemaobi, National Coordinator of the coalition made the commendation at a news conference in Abuja on Thursday.
Onyemaobi also appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to swiftly assent to the bill, saying this will provide relief and gladden the hearts of millions of polytechnic and monotechnic students.
He said that the Act would impact positively on almost every household as HND holders would now have a respite upon signing of the bill into law.
“The passage of this monumental bill has therefore rekindled the joy, hope and self-esteem of millions of HND holders who over the years have been traumatised due to unwarranted discrimination.
“Furthermore, this uncommon bill passed by the National Assembly will indeed provide succor to the unwarranted discrimination, harsh and inhuman treatments at their work places in both public and private sectors.
“It is on this note therefore that we cannot appreciate enough, this awesome legislation by the two hallowed chambers of the National Assembly,” he said.
According to Onyemaobi, the legislation was enacted to address a major societal injustice and one of the key setback to technological growth and the nation’s quest for industrialisation.
He said that the legislation would put an end to the outdated class-concept and certificate-based approach being practiced in the country.
“This legislation will put an end to the inordinate quest at all costs for mere educational certificates, and promote the quest for knowledge, skills and expertise.
“A legislation that will discourage indolence and mediocrity, but encourage excellence and diligence in the work place.
“A legislation that will provide equity and level playing ground for all graduates and allow every graduate to be assessed objectively based on competence and performance as well as strengthen the educational institutions,” he added.
Onyemaobi said that while waiting for the signing of the bill into law, HND holders and indeed the polytechnic system would work hard to live up to expectations and justify the confidence reposed on them.
He also assured that the holders would be greatly propelled to utilise their talents and potentials to the fullest and contribute immensely to national development.
Also, Mr Sunday Asuku, National President, National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPST), appealed to President Buhari to register his footprint in the sand of time by assenting to the bill.
Asuku said this would allow for a level playing ground for all graduates in the country.
He added that technology was a bedrock of any developed nation, hence the need for the country to uphold polytechnic education.
The Federal Executive Council had on Sept. 27, 2006, directed through a White Paper that the undue dichotomy and ceiling on salary grade level/rank attainable by HND holders be removed.
The coalition comprises over 40 associations and groups comprising polytechnic and monotechnic students, HND holders as well as trade unions and associations whose members are HND holders.