Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Holders of Higher National Diploma (HND) under the umbrella of Coalition of Higher National Diploma stakeholders have asked the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HCSF), to urgently commence the process of implementing approved government white paper that eliminated the disparity between university (BSc) and polytechnic graduates (HND).
The Coalition registered its discontent with the fact that 14 years after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the white paper on the consolidation of emoluments in the public sector, the Office of Head of Service of the Federation was yet to issue a circular for the implementation of the directive.
It, however, issued a four weeks grace period for the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Folashade Yemi-Esan, to issue circular on commencement of work on the document or the affected stakeholders would be forced to take “unfriendly” actions against those involved in the delay.
Chairman of the Coalition, Sabastine Onyemaobi, told journalists at a press conference in Abuja, on Thursday, that the obvious discrimination, particularly in Civil Service is discouraging, dehumanising and insult on the sensibility of the affected people. He demanded that HND holders be integrated into relevant officers/professionals cadre as directed in the approved white paper to enable them progress up to 17 in line with the implementation structure earlier developed and agreed on.
“We are aware that the continued discrimination, stigmatisation and undue stagnation of HND holders on Grade Level 14 is being perpetrated by the HSCF through the non-implementation of Federal Government’s decision in favour of HND holders.
“There’s no justifiable reason for this retrogressive phenomenon other than colonial legacies and outdated class concept approach as well as mere ego, over-protection of one category of certificate holders against the other, as well as the certificate-based ideology in public service administration against the current global acceptable performance-based approach. We recall that FEC, on 27th September, 2006, approved a government white paper, which recommended among other things, that it’s desirable for the purpose of relativity that entrants into the public service with HND where such organisations, agencies or institutions operate HAPSS, HATISS, must have the opportunity to reach the highest grade if they are found competent.”