Give HND holders a breathing space
It was on June, 2nd 2017, the Nigerian Senate resolved to pass a bill that give equal opportunity for HND holders to head the proposed Federal Road Authority (FRA), just like their counterpart, the holders of a bachelor’s degree, but to most people surprise a senator representing EDO central, senator Clifford Ordia came out in full force and with all his strength towards opposing the move with his reason that is clearly a sentiment and selfish.
His reason is that “University graduates are Engineers while polytechnic graduates are just Technologist”, this is just his reason.
I have a hundred and one reasons why there is no justification of any kind to place a bachelor’s degree above HND, but for now I will make it another topic for another day, let me now restrict myself to the point the distinguish senator raised as his reason, i.e “University graduates are Engineers while polytechnic graduates are just Technologist”.
Looking at the word “Technology” which is one of the most important indices of development, which simply means that, for any nation to be considered, developed, it must be a technologically advanced country, the point here is that, developed countries where we copied the western education from, consider Technology with high esteem.
In Nigeria alone there are many universities of technology that graduate engineers which simply means that the so-called engineers are automatically the product of the technology.
Therefore, senator Ordia can only justify his claim to some extent if and only if he is able to convinced the global community to replace the “Technological advancement with engineering advancement” as it is contained in the indices of development, as well as sponsoring a bill that will eventually amend the Act establishing the Universities of Technology to universities of engineering.
Furthermore, those who took to themselves a duty to downgrade and disgrace HND qualification were at the same time, but unconsciously placing the HND above their exaggerated bachelor’s degree, for instance University graduates of administration are employed as an administrative officers while their counterpart from Polytechnic as executive officers just to show that HND is inferior to bachelor’s degree, but if I may ask what is the title of the highest officer who occupied the highest office in any organization? The answer is “chief executive officer” (CEO), including the state governors who are also refer to as chief executive officers of their respective states, and to cap it all, the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is also refer to as the chief executive officer of the Federation, instead of the “chief Administrative officer” that is reserved for only the bachelor’s degree holders.
Nevertheless, the person Nigeria and Nigerians required to head the Federal Road Authority (FRA) is that person, who have the ability and capabilities to design, construct and maintain a structure, irrespective of a University or Polytechnic She/he graduated, and regardless of whether she/he is refer to as an Engineer or a Technologist.
In conclusion, let me use this opportunity to extend my absolute gratitude and appreciation to the distinguish Senator Kabiru Marafa and others who supported him for their courage and determination towards challenging the injustice to humanity of senator Ordia and his allied, in fact you did what is expected of you and we are proud of you.
Finally, I must also salute the firmness and doggedness of the customs CG Hameed Ali for completely abolishing the long existed dichotomy between the HND/bachelor’s degree that caused a lot of damage in the Nigerian customs service, with a hope that other organizations will follow suit for the overall interest of Nigeria/ Nigerians.
Umar Babale Zazzau, 08031586451.