HND holders protest discrimination, threatens industrial action

An alliance of Higher National Diploma holders are threatening to embark on industrial action if the government fails to fulfil a white paper detailing the removal of dichotomy on their career progression in public service in four weeks.

According to reports, the coalition, including public servants, unions and students amongst others, says it will occupy the office of the Head of Service of the Federation if its needs are not met in four weeks.

“We are going to occupy that office until they do the needful because we will not continue to keep quiet and things will continue to go wrong,” Chris Isiquzo Ikechukwu, president of Nigerian Union of Journalists and a Visitor of International Institute of Journalists, told a press briefing in Abuja on Thursday.

He said having one group of workers enjoying their promotion in service and another group slow, “is unacceptable to us.”

“We are not going to take this lying low; we are going to mobilize our students and members across Nigeria.”

The white paper has been nearly 14 years waiting to be executed, said the president of Higher National Diploma Holders Association of Nigeria (HNDHAN) Sabastine Onyemaobi

He added the wait proceeds to expose HND alumni to discrimination, stigmatization and unfair stagnation.

He said HND holders do not grow above level 14 rather they are faced with demotion in situations where they try to rise above that, after acquiring PGD and Masters as required by the law.

He demanded that the HND certificate holders from accredited NBTE be recognized as accredited by the white paper to progress to higher grades up to level 17.

While noting that their members are becoming impatient and they may not be able to contain their disturbance, he said promotion and progression in career if free and highly contentious and that HND holders should be provided with a level playing ground.

The coalition, however, urged the president to take this earnestly and call the HoS to order because anything that affects a particular set of government affects the entire system.

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