By NBF News

Mr. Stephen Oronsaye was widely quoted by the media recently to have said that the Higher National Diploma, HND was not an equivalent of the university degree. In the same report Oronsaye was quoted to have admitted that there was a subsisting Federal Government white paper mandating the equation of the HND to a University degree. This is the crux of the matter.

While a government white paper is in existence equating the two certificates, why must a civil servant, no matter the rank, the level, one day wake up and go contrary to the government policy. It is now so obvious that top ranking officers in the past of misled government as result of their own myopic reasoning.

To take the government, and particularly, our articulate President Jonathan down the memory lane, the issue of HND / University degree had caused serious problem and bad blood in the past as HND holders protested the government policy which made them to be stagnated at level 13, rather than level 17 which their contemporary were allowed to rise to.

So as to ensure harmony the then government of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo set up a committee to look into the issue. The committee was headed by the respected former head of the Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan. According to the 40 - page Government White Paper On The Presidential Committee On The Consolidation Of Emoluments in The Public Service even when holders of HND were found to be very competent, they were denied the opportunity to reach the highest level in the civil service.

The Federal Government, even when Obasanjo that set up the committee had ceased to be President accepted the recommendation of the committee and removed the ceiling forthwith. The Federal Government in 1988 further directed that the current scheme of service should be reviewed to reflect the recommendation of the committee.

Not only that, the Federal Government in the white paper directed that OND or its equivalent from any government recognized institution should be regarded as the new minimum point of entry in the service. Justifying the government action, the white paper stated thus; This is in line with the new ideas and spirit behind the current reform programme of the Federal Government.

If one may ask, where was Papa Oransaye when The Guardian newspaper came out with a banner headline '' Govt removes career ceilingfor HND holders on Tesusday, July 8 2008.

We are in a new dawn with President Jonathan and his Goodluck in the saddle. Jonathan should call Oronsaye to order before he set confusion acrimony and bad blood in to the Public Service.

•Adepegba sent this piece from Lokoja