Gentlemen of the Press, I welcome you all to this press conference. This press briefing is about the bill that has been passed by both chambers of our 9th National Assembly, which is still pending in the Office of President Federal Republic of Nigeria for his assent.

It is pertinent to note that there would not have beenine-height: 150%;">It is pertinent to note that there would not have been any need for this long agitation if efforts of previous administrations, including that of the Minister of Education who is vested with the power of Certificate Evaluation as a matter of policy by Education ACT, were allowed to scale through successfully. Unfortunately, efforts to abolish this ugly monster called HND and BSc Dichotomy in Nigeria have always been thwarted by enemies of Technological advancement in Nigeria, who want the country to go down at all costs. These are self-centered persons with ill motives who stay at a corner and constantly devise means of frustrating the Polytechnic Education,Technological breakthrough/development, and the Technologists in our dear country.

It is a known fact that in the world over, Technology drives a nation's economy, and front-liners in such Technological breakthroughs are Technologists who are given equal opportunities with their Engineering counterparts to showcase their talents. But in Nigeria, the reverse is the case. The discrimination against HND holders in Engineering, in particular, has dampened and demoralized the morale of Technologists, thereby resulting in low productivity. Nigeria, yet to embrace Technology and Technologists, has over the years become net importers of manufactured goods and has generally witnessed a poor standard of living, net negative balance sheet, and low per capital income.

Firstly, let me take you down memory lane. On November 24th, 2006, the Honourable Minister of Education, whose power is to evaluate certificates in Nigeria, wrote a letter to the Head of Service of the Federation (REF. NO. DHE/POLY.33/C.1/100) on the removal of the ceiling on the career progression of HND which was the continuation of their earlier letter with REF. NO. DHE/POLY.33/C.1/87 dated September 19th, 2006, attached to it was the career progression of HND holders up to grade level 17.

In December 2006, a white paper committee was set up by the Federal Government headed by Mallam Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai as Chairman, and other eminent Nigerians, including Prof. Charles Soludo, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, and others from the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation. They came out with the Tabular Version of CONSOLIDATION OF EMOLUMENTS IN PUBLIC SECTOR.

It is a known fact in Nigeria that when a white paper report comes out on any policy, it becomes a government position, but those against the Technological progress in Nigeria still sat somewhere again and put the white paper under the carpet. On the white paper, it was resolved that, "The undue dichotomy and ceiling on the Salary Grade Level/Rank attainable by HND holders should be removed." Alas! It was jettisoned at the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation.

Again in 2007, at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting held on Wednesday 14th March, 2007, it was approved by the Council that "HND Certificates would remain legal tender in Nigeria and holders of such certificates would continue to be recognized as equivalent in remuneration with a First Degree holder without any discrimination and limits to their carear progression and job opportunities in Nigeria, be it in Civil Services, Corporate and/or Private organization."

It may interest you to know that thereafter, letters were written to the Head of Service of the Federation from the Office of the Honourable Minister of Education for that circular on the implementation of this FEC approval and decision, but they flagrantly refused. All efforts by the Federal Government to correct this administrative malady and appropriately equate the HND/BSc qualification has always been punctured by those who do not want the country to progress Technologically. With the present situation, many parents are unwilling to allow their children to seek admission into Polytechnic because of the stigma of inferiority that Polytechnic graduates are second class citizens.

For decades now, the Federal Government of Nigeria has been sufficiently disturbed about the Technological and Economic damage that the disparity between HND and First-Degree holders is inflicting on the nation and has made several administrative attempts to resolve the issue by constituting various committees, commissions and giving directives on the way forward. But it is sad to observe that even when the White Paper was released on the above subject matter, some people are thwarting the implementation of the recommendations of the White Paper.

However, the only option left was the legislative route. A Bill for an ACT to abolish HND and First-Degree Dichotomy was sponsored by Distinguished Senator Patrick Ayo Akinyelure, FCA at the Red Chamber. The Bill went through public hearing in Nigeria, and Nigerians unanimously agreed that the disparity should be removed. Distinguished Senators in their wisdom yielded to the yearnings of Nigerians by passing the Bill on 2nd June 2021, and the House of Representatives Concurred on 23rd November 2021.

Gentlemen of the press, I wish to state categorically that, A BILL FOR AN ACT TO ABOLISH AND PROHIBIT DICHOTOMY AND DISCRIMINATION BETWEEN FIRST DEGREE AND HIGHER NATIONAL DIPLOMA IN SAME PROFESSION/FIELD FOR THE PURPOSE OF EMPLOYMENT, AND FOR RELATED MATTERS, has been sent to the President Federal Republic of Nigeria for assent on 8th March 2022, with Ref No NASS/CAN/37/VOL. 1/58. This is still pending in the Office of the President.

The question one may ask is, “what injury will anyone suffer if this particular Bill is signed into law”? I doubt if there is any, except for some people who do not want Nigeria to grow Technologically. Those obstructing presidential assent on this Bill are people who want us to remain an importing nation, and not wishing the Country well.

Some of the advantages of the above stated Bill are that: it will reduce unemployment, stringent emphasis on certificate would be reduced and the population of students seeking admission into our Universities for First-Degree Certificates will be drastically reduce, while Technological Education/Technological Advancement will be enhanced for the benefit of the Nation.

We most respectfully congratulate the 9th National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on this, "once in a lifetime" achievement and hereby wish to inform them that the journey is not taken to a logical conclusion until the President signs the Bill into law.

We strongly appeal to them to follow up on this matter by taking necessary steps to ensure that the Bill is sign into law before the end of their tenure.

It will be recall that, this is the first time the National Assembly has settled on the Bill for Abolition of HND and First-Degree Dichotomy in Nigeria, we wish to use this medium to Thank the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for his indefatigable leadership. This is a great achievement. We wish to appeal to Mr. President to assent to the Bill on the abolition of the HND, First Degree Dichotomy that is now before him. If the Bill is graciously signed by the President, posterity will forever remember him as the President that has signed Bills such as Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), 2022 Electoral Amendment Bill and Hopefully the 2023 HND, First -Degree Dichotomy Abolition Bill that have touched the lives of Nigerians and Nigeria Economy.

We wish to specially appeal to the Head of Service of the Federation (HOSF) and the Attorney General of the Federation to give their support for the signing of the Bill. Similarly, we are calling on all Nigerians home and abroad to give their Support in this regard.


Thank you and May God bless you.


Rt. Hon. Engn. Tech. Dominic Udoatan KSM, FNATE, FNISET

NATE National President,

April, 2023