The National Universities Commission (NUC) has disowned a programme being floated by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), which aimed at converting a Higher National Diploma (HND) to a University degree.
Acting Executive Secretary of NUC, Chris Maiyaki, in a statement, made available to journalists in Abuja on Saturday, described the purported one-year top-up degree programme in Nigerian Polytechnics as a ruse.
Maiyaki, who personally signed the statement, said the existing dichotomy between first degree and HND has not been abolished even as Universities and Polytechnics have their individual unique programmes which would pose a challenge to such conversion scheme.
The statement read: “The attention of the National Universities Commission (NUC) has been drawn to the news (online) that the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) has officially introduced a one-year top-up degree programme in Nigerian Polytechnics to enable holders of the Higher National Diploma (HND) to convert their certificates to the first degree with foreign accredited universities.
“The online news, which was credited to the Executive Secretary of the NBTE, Prof Idris Bugaje and the Board’s Head of Media Unit, Mrs. Fatima Abubakar, revealed that the action was in furtherance of the advocacy for the removal of the existing dichotomy between degree holders and HND graduates in their various places of work, and to enhance the beneficiaries’ opportunities for further studies.
“The NUC wishes to inform the Management of the NBTE and the general public that the “Bill for an Act to Abolish and Prohibit Dichotomy and Discrimination between First Degree and Higher National Diploma in the Same Profession/Field for the Purpose of Employment, and for Related Matters”, which was passed by the 9th National Assembly in 2021, is yet to be assented to by Mr. President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“So, even though agitation continues to grow for the abolition of the dichotomy in Nigeria, there is, at the moment, no law that has removed the dichotomy between a university degree and the HND.”
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