By Grace Udofia
THE Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF, has expanded its scholarship programmes for human capacity development in the oil and gas industry to include training of lecturers.
The Acting Executive Secretary, PTDF, Mr. Ahmed Galadima, disclosed this at the induction programme for the 2016/2017 PTDF scholars.
He said that henceforth, foreign scholarship will focus on lecturers pursuing masters and Ph.ds in foreign countries, who will return home to continue in the training of undergraduates in the funds area of core mandate, as the fund cannot continue to send graduates out of Nigeria for training.
“What the fund is doing now in the long run is to keep our institutions moving by sending lecturers for further studies. This is why this year the fund has introduced a bond form attached to the award letter which the scholars are expected to fill and return to the fund,” he stated.
He added that this exercise will to provide a guarantee that they will come back to serve Nigeria after concluding their respective programmes.
He continued: “The fund has ensured that the best scholars are selected based on the fact that the amount of money that is being expended is something that needs to be justified. More so, a rigorous process is deliberately put in place to safeguard the quality and integrity of the scholarship scheme.
“To ensure quality training, PTDF scholars are mainly trained in the best universities in the United Kingdom, UK, this choice was informed by the successes of the UK in particular, Scotland, in oil and gas education related programmes and major oil companies in Nigeria like Shell, Chevron and others favour English graduates.”
However, Galadima noted that based on the economic situation of the country and the recent involvement of other countries like France, Norway, United States, and Germany, the fund has decided to expand its areas of activities to include education institutions in Brazil, France and Germany.
One of the scholars, Mr. Gerald Okechukwu, shortlisted for the 2016/2017 scholarship scheme is a petroleum engineer going to study same at the masters level at the Imperial College London, expressed happinessfor being a beneficiary of the scheme, adding that the selection process was credible.
His said:“I did not know anybody in PTDF; I was surprised to see that I had been shortlisted when the results came out.”