By Grace Udofia
Executive Secretary of Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF, Dr Bello Gusau, has said that plans were underway to domesticate its training and capacity building programmes.
According to him, the current scholarship arrangement which is disproportionately focused on Overseas Scholarship Scheme, was no longer sustainable and therefore, needed to be reversed.
Gusau, who disclosed this in Abuja during an interactive session with Vice Chancellors of Federal Universities in Nigeria, discussed the new strategic agenda that will govern the training and capacity building programmes of the Fund.
He explained that the bulk of the scholarship to be offered, going forward, would be for training in Nigerian universities.
“This meeting and interactive session with the Vice Chancellors is to agree on relevant terms as well as gather sufficient information that will assist the Fund in the planning and implementation process. Let me clearly state it that the fund has not completely jettisoned the overseas scholarship programmes, as it will continue to sponsor few candidates overseas especially for courses that are not offered in Nigerian universities and through partnership agreements with select foreign universities.
“At the centre of the agenda is the domestication of all PTDF training and capacity building programmes, with the implication that Nigerian universities will now play a greater role in the process as partners and major stakeholders.”
“At the moment, PTDF has decided that there will be no more undergraduate Overseas Scholarships. All undergraduate programmes for sponsorship by PTDF will now be done in Nigerian universities. For the post graduate programmes, the bulk of that for both the Masters and PhD’s will be done in Nigerian universities. We are also open to collaboration especially through the split-site PhD programme”.
In his reaction, Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, NUC, Professor Abubakar Rasheed welcomed the initiative by PTDF, which he said tallies with the vision to collectively reform post graduate training in Nigeria.