The Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) has concluded plans to introduce scholarship scheme for students in Nigerian Universities.
Executive Secretary of PTDF Dr Bello Aliyu Gusau, said this at the 2018/2019 induction of scholars for the overseas Masters of Science (MSc) and Doctors of Philosophy (PhD) scholarship scheme.
By this development, shortlisted scholars would be sponsored by the PTDF in pursuit of their MSc and PhD programme under partnership with selected Universities in the country.
Gusau said that the introduction of the local scholarship would give opportunity to Nigerians who did not qualify for the overseas scheme.
“We are going to commence the scholarship for Nigerian Universities by the end of August, and we expect that the number of beneficiaries will double that of foreign scholarships,” he said.
The PTDF boss said about 122 MSc and 76 PhD students were shortlisted for the 2018/2019 Overseas Scholarship Scheme (OSS) in UK Universities.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the scholars will be studying various oil and gas related courses under the Fund’s Strategic Partnership with top-ranking institutions in the UK.
Gusau explained that the foreign scholars would be admitted into only 15 Universities in the UK contrary to initial arrangement where the students choose Universities and submit to PTDF for consideration.
“For the foreign scholarships, before now we allowed students to search Universities for themselves and we provide the scholarship, but that does not provide value for money.
“So, we decided that we want the best by reducing the number to 15 quality Universities which are among the best in UK.
“At the same time, there is an additional advantage for doing that because we can sit down with the Universities and discuss discounts, and we are getting discounts of 15 to 20 percent depending the University,” Gusau added.
He also said that most of the students who benefitted from the scheme had graduated in flying colours and that the graduates had taking over most of the operations in the oil and gas industries.
Mrs Mette Edekobi, Director, Special Duties and State Operations, National Orientation Agency (NOA) urged the beneficiaries to be good ambassadors of the country.
She advised them to respect the religion and culture of other people who they might come across during their stay in the UK.
“We believe that we are not talking to Nigerians that are deaf; we are talking to Nigerians that have to listen to what we have to say, and that whatever we tell them today will surface when they leave Nigeria for UK.
“Do that which is needful and then return safe to Nigeria instead of being deported or arrested and kept in prison; focus on your academics, achieve your purpose and come back,” Edekobi said.
It would be recalled that the PTDF had in April suspended the conduct of aptitude tests for applicants in the programme.