The motion sponsor informed that since 2012, NSCDC personnel who were recruited with HND certificates have been denied promotion.
The House of Representatives has directed its Committee on Public Service Matters and Interior to investigate the alleged discrimination of workers based on academic degrees in the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
The House also summoned the Commandant-General of the NSCDC, for questioning over his failure to comply with the abolition of the HND and B.Sc. dichotomy, and promotion of all qualified personnel when due.
These resolutions were sequel to the adoption of a motion on the “Need to Investigate the Career Stagnation caused by Discrimination between Higher National Diploma (HND) and Bachelor Degree holders in the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.”
Sponsor of the motion, Rep. Ime Bassey Okon (PDP, Akwa Ibom), noted the persistent discrimination between Polytechnics and University certificate holders in civil service, which has lead to a stagnation of the career of many employees.
Okon lamented that the discrimination has persisted in the NSCDC despite legislative efforts as well as government policies to reverse the practice.
“The persistent discrimination between Polytechnics and University certificate holders in civil service with regards to employment and promotion, with Higher National Diploma Holders (HND) limited to Salary Grade 14 and Degree Holders reaching Grade 17 before retirement from service, despite government policies to reverse the practice.
“The National Assembly recently passed a bill to eliminate the discrimination and disparities between the two certificates, the legislation sought to resolve the dichotomy controversy and promote Nigeria’s technological advancement by encouraging many qualified students to pursue polytechnics and technology-based studies.
“In 2006, President Obasanjo reversed a discriminatory policy limiting HND holders from rising above grade 14 in public service, directing the former Chief of Staff and Head of Service to prepare a position paper. Also under President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, the Federal Executive Council removed the salary ceiling for HND holders. President Muhammadu Buhari criticised the disparity, leading to a circular in 2018 stating that HND holders will enjoy salary grade level 08 in Civil Service.
“Despite the policy directives and approvals, discrimination against HND holders persists in private and public agencies, particularly in paramilitary agencies, where the dichotomy was abolished in 2016 due to no sanctions for non-compliance.”
According to him, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps has experienced career stagnation among 2012 HND intakes, with B.Sc. colleagues being promoted multiple times to Superintendent of Corps, a situation that goes against Civil Service regulations and creates bad blood among the rank and file of the Corps.
The lawmaker further informed that that junior officers with School Certificates in 2012 , who later earned a part-time B.Sc. degree were promoted to senior ranks and Assistant Superintendent of Corps, leading to a decrease in morale and motivation among their HND counterparts, adding that “from 2012 to 2022, NSCDC recruits with HND failed to be promoted four times, while their B.Sc. counterparts were promoted twice,” he said.
In adopting the motion, the House equally ordered the Commandant-General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to promote all qualified personnel and pay the arrears of emolument that is required.