By BASHIR BELLO
Senator representing Borno South and Chairman Senate Committee on Army, at the National Assembly, Muhammad Ali Ndume has decried the discrimination against holders of National Diploma (ND) and Higher National Diploma (HND) by employers of labour both in the private and public sectors of the nation.
According to the lawmaker, the nation has lost the services of people that would have contributed positively to the economy than some of the so called fegree holders in the society.
He added that after his secondary education, he applied for a course in a polytechnic, revealing how he was victimised because he was a HND holder.
“After my National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), I applied for a job at Ramat Polytechnic as graduate assistant lecturer with some of my fellow graduates, most of those we applied together, got their appointments confirmed as graduate assistants, but I was employed as an instructor.
“Why? I had a HND so I could not get the post of assistant lecturer. I became frustrated so, I decided to go back to the higher institution for my masters,” he said.
He continued that even as he applied for a Master’s Degree, he was turned down by most universities because at that time, universities did not accept HND holders for a degree programme.
“Only University of Lagos gave considerations on basis of a test it administered.
“I took the University of Lagos test for masters, I passed but when my papers were scrutinized, the UNILAG authority said it doesn’t accept HND for masters programme.
“After a while, I decided to go and prospect for job rather than continue with my academic quest,” he added.
Ndume further revealed that on getting a job, “I was told that I would not be given the post of assistant manager but commercial because, I had HND. Yet, those that were appointed as managers and assistant managers were not better off than me.
“In fact, I had 7 As while in secondary school, I knew I was better off than most of my former school mates who got appointed as managers because they had university degrees.
“However, when I was interviewed by United States Agency For International Development (USAID), I got an opportunity to go for a degree course in the US.
“After one semester in an American University, I was awarded a degree. This was also based on the fact that I took an 18 credit course,” he narrated.
The lawmaker who praised the Senate for taking appropriate measures by abolishing the dichotomy between universities and polytechnics added that the eradication would further help the ordinary Nigerian to seek for jobs to get employed
Senator Ndume further lampooned the way emphasis is laid on admission of candidates based on the need for five credits for universities and four credits for polytechnics.
He advocated that the Joint Admission andMatriculation Board (JAMB) should continue administering tests for prospective candidates for universities and polytechnics.