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Senate Moves to Abolish HND, Bsc Dichotomy

Senate President David Mark

Ayodele Afolabi, Abuja

A bill for an act to abolish and prohibit dichotomy and discrimination between first degrees and the higher national diploma (HND) Holders in the same profession / field, narrowly has passed second reading in the senate.

The Bill sponsored by Senator Ayo Akinyelure (PDP Ondo Central) ran into trouble waters during General debate by the senators as many of them argued that the problem of dichotomy between holders of the two certificates cannot be solved through legislation alone but through harmonization of their curricula by way of upgrading and merging Polytechnics with Universities.

Akinyelure had in his lead debate stated that the aftermath of continuing injustices, disparity and discrimination meted on products of Polytechnics in Nigeria is threatening to derail the nation’s core policy thrust of evolving a technological and scientifically based, self sufficient and self – reliant society in the nearest future.

He also noted that if this contemplation occurs, there is bound to be a vacuum created in our labour market in this regard and dire consequences are bound to follow this trend.

The lawmaker also cited instances where degree holders are given executive /superintendent cadre assignments, the HND holders are treated as minors and sometimes posted to perform guard duties in the residence of some senior officers and even certain retired officers

He argued that the aim of the bill when passed by the Senate hollow chamber, was to promote the technological advancement of our great Nation by encouraging many qualified candidates to pursue Polytechnic and Technological Education and specialize in practical aspect of technological advancement.



But Senators Chris Ngige, (APC Anambra Central), Olusola   Adeyeye (APC Osun Central), (Sunny Ogboji (PDP Ebonyi South) and the Deputy Senate President, Ike EKweremadu disagreed that holders of the two certificates at present should be at par.


Ekweremadu specifically stated that its going to be very difficult to abolish the HND/Bsc dichotomy for now, saying what should be done is the need to expand the knowledge base of our Polytechnics, set up technical schools in all the states

The bill was however supported by Senator Ahmad Lawan ( APC Yobe North), who in his contribution stated that this is one area that requires genuine reforms as the discrimination is counter productive and stressed the need to get the best out of everyone adding that Nigeria stands to gain from the abolishment of the dichotomy.


In his remarks Senate President David Mark noted the different points made on both sides of the divide but all agreed that the entry points for universities and Polytechnics are different.

According to him, its not about the products but the individual that matters as all institutions produce quacks and good graduates” the curriculum is where the problem is and not the nomenclature ”


He also stated that what the bill is seeking to achieve may not work however an arrangement can be made where Polytechnics begin to award degrees.


He also cast doubt if the Senate can legislate on this as the Upper House cannot compel private institutions not to discriminate i in their employement adding that nobody is going back to the Polytechnics from the University but rather vice versa



The bill was sent to the Senate Committee on Education to hold public hearing on the bill where according to him, more ideas about the way forward on the dichotomy will be gotten.


The committee was given four weeks to submit report from the hearing.


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