Reps pass bill abolishing HND/BSc dichotomy
The House of Representatives has passed a bill to abolish and prohibit discrimination between first degrees and Higher National Diploma (HND) in the same profession.
The bill was presented by Mohammed Mongonu, at yesterday’s plenary, presided over by Speaker Yakubu Dogara.
The bill, which was sponsored by Ali Isa and Edward Pwajok, passed Second Reading in April, 2017.
Leading debate on the bill, Pwajok said a research he carried out on both certificates showed that the discrimination had no moral justification.
He said the unfortunate situation would make the international community to look down on the status of educational institutions in the country.
The lawmaker noted that it was unfortunate that such discrimination existed in a critical sector required for national development, regretting that there was a lot of segregation at employment level.
According to him, those with first degree are placed on Grade Level 8, while those with HND are placed on Grade Level 6 or 7.
He disclosed in some organisations, degree holders were paid N100, 000 at entry level, while their counterparts with HND were paid N70, 000.
The lawmaker said in other countries, technical experts are paid higher than administrators, and added that “the reverse is the case in the country.”
Pwajok noted that if the private sector must develop, proper recognition must be given to polytechnics and similar institutions in the country.
Similarly, the House has also adopted a report on an a Bill for an Act to, among other things, prohibit the use, manufacture and importation of plastic bags for commercial and household packaging.
The report was adopted at the Committee of Whole, presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Yussuf Lassun.
The bill seeks to address the harmful effects of plastic bags on the oceans, rivers, lakes, forests, wildlife as well as human beings when passed into law.
Monguno presented the bill to the House, as it has been passed by the Senate.
The report recommended that retailers of goods shall offer paper bags to customers at the point of sale in place of plastic bags or be guilty of an offence when the bill is passed into law.
It stated that a person who manufactures plastic bags for the purpose of selling would be guilty of an offence.
The report also stated that a person who imports plastic bag, for sale, or carry out plastic bag is equally guilty of an offence.
“Any body person found guilty shall be liable upon conviction to a fine of not exceeding N500,000 or a jail term not exceeding three years or both,” it recommended.
The report said any organisation found guilty shall be liable upon conviction to a fine not more than N5 million.
Presenting the report, Monguno said the bill seeks to relieve pressure on landfills and waste management and that the use of plastic bags is rampant and that the bags are not bio-degradable.
Monguno said the bags stay in the environment for hundreds of years and affect arable land, water bodies and wildlife.
Lassun noted that the bill should create room for recycling of plastic bags and that, as it stands, when into law, would mean that plastic bags would not be seen again in the country.
The bill would now be listed for Third Reading at a later date; after which it would be sent to the president for assent