Polytechnic graduates on Friday urged the National Industrial Court to compel the Federal Government to implement its White Paper, which recognised HND and Degree as equivalent qualifications.
The plaintiffs, under the auspices of Nigerian Association of Technologists in Engineering, joined the National Council on Establishment, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation and Attorney-General as co-defendants.
The suit was filed by Garba Bello, Adelaja Samuel, Jubril Kadiri, Christiana Owolabi, Umechukwu Chuba and Fatima Mohammed on behalf of their members.
They also want the court to declare that HND holders are entitled to the same remunerations and progression in the civil service as university graduates without discrimination.
Adeyemi Okunade, their counsel, submitted in the originating summons, supported by a 25-page affidavit, that the ceiling on the career progression of his clients be removed immediately.
Okunade also contended that by virtue of the said white paper, government had directed that the Grade Level 14 ceiling on career progression of HND holders be removed forthwith.
He said: “A white paper had been issued wherein the disparity in the conditions of public service between the university degree holders and HND holders has been at best described as discriminatory.
“A directive was issued that such ceilings be removed and, nevertheless, the agencies responsible for the implementation continue with the discrimination.
“We respectfully submit that the refusal of the defendants to comply with the directive issued in the white paper amounts to discrimination, is unjust and should be so declared.”
When the case came up for mention, Alkali Hamman, counsel to the defendants, said he was yet to be served with the original processes by the plaintiff’s counsel.
Hamman, therefore, asked for an adjournment to enable him to receive the processes and respond accordingly.
Justice Babatunde Adejumo, the President of the court, adjourned hearing till September 18.