There was a division among some senators yesterday on the floor of the Senate during the consideration of a bill seeking to address discrimination between first degrees and Higher National Diplomas, HND, for the purpose of employment and promotion in the country.

 

The bill, sponsored by Senator Ayo Akinyelure, however, passed second reading during plenary.

 

While contributing to the debate on the bill, some senators were of different views on the issue, noting that the discrimination has affected the productivity of those discriminated against.

 

Minority Leader, Eyinnaya Abaribe, pointed out that instead of debating the bill, the federal government should be encouraged to implement what it has already started, adding that the sponsor of the bill said the federal government is already working on it.

 

“I find it difficult to support what the government is already implementing because he said that there is a circular to that effect. It is already being done, why are we debating it?

 

“Since the government is already doing it, we have to encourage the government to continue. We should support the government,” he said.

 

In his contribution, Senator James Manager pointed out that what the bill sought is a legal framework, lamenting that “I don’t know where this disparity started from. It is unfortunate.”

 

He, however, said the Senate would be guided during the public hearings.

ON his part, Senator Ibrahim Gobir added that HND deals in practical, noting that making degrees and HNDs the same was as going against what established them.

 

Leading debate on the bill, Senator Akinyelure, called for harmonization of ranks among officers, adding that promotion of officers should be based on productivities.

 

He noted that the bill will put an end to discrimination between the HND and degree holders, adding that the discrimination does no one any good, as it discourages HND holders from achieving their potentials.

 

In his remarks, Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege, who presided over the plenary, said “because of the controversial nature of the bill, I think it is appropriate that we invite at the public hearing professionals to make their contributions.”

 

He referred the bill to Committees on Establishment, Tertiary Institutions, and TETFund to report back in four weeks.

 


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