Polytechnics in Nigeria will no longer have the power to award Higher National Diploma (HND) certificates.
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, made this known to journalists as one of the major decisions made at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting held at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday.
He disclosed that polytechnics will now only have the power to award National Diploma (ND) certificates while current holders of the HND certificates will continue to use the certificates without discrimination.
The minister further said that the recent removal of the dichotomy between HND and BSc holders remains in effect.
Furthermore, he disclosed that all non-technical programmes, which constitute about 70 percent, being run by polytechnics in the country have been scrapped.
Adamu stressed that any polytechnic that desires to award any certificate higher than ND will become campuses of proximate universities with the Vice Chancellors of those universities appointing provosts for the polytechnics, subject to the ratification of the Universities Councils.
He said that under the new arrangement, the proximate universities will issue B.Tech certificates to students of the polytechnics who desire higher qualification.
Adamu stated that the Yaba College of Technology in Lagos and Kaduna Polytechnic in Kaduna will be used to test-run the arrangement.
The two polytechnics will now be known as City University of Technology, Yaba and City University of Technology, Kaduna respectively.
The Federal Government has also prepared two Executive bills for presentation to the National Assembly by the Ministry of Justice to give bite to the new policy.
Reports say that the first bill will legalize the setting up of the two city universities and the second bill will approve the preparation and consolidation of all federal polytechnics and colleges of education as campuses of proximate universities.
The minister stated that his ministry will continue to licence private polytechnics and Colleges of Education to provide ND and NCE qualifications respectively.
Adamu said, “There will be no more award of HND.
“After we have exhausted the current students under the programme, there will be no more award of HND. This means that there will be no fresh admission for HND programmes. And in addition, any programme that is not technical will be out of the polytechnics.
“About 70 per cent of polytechnic graduates are in the non-technical courses. It is going to be a rigorous implementation programme.”
He added, “The HND certificate will remain a legal tender in Nigeria and holders of such certificate will continue to be recognized as the equivalent of first degree holders without discriminatory remunerations and limit to progression in the work place.
“The NCE certificate will be retained as the minimum teaching qualification at the basic level of education. Any higher qualifications by these private or state-owned polytechnics will be only affiliation with a university. So, HND is no longer in existence, but existing HND will be respected and considered legal tender.”