As FCC endorses the enumeration process
By Grace Udofia
ABUJA-The Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF, has screened candidates who had earlier applied and qualified for the Fund’s scholarship programme nationwide.
The screening exercise which took place at various centers across the country simultaneously had students from various units of the oil and gas discipline.
The Executive Secretary of PTDF, Dr Bello Gusau who monitored the exercise in the Abuja and Kaduna Zones explained that the Fund was targeting 1,700 candidates at the Abuja centre and 4,500 nationwide.
In his words, the examinations took place simultaneously in all the centers, noting that the results would be communicated later, in order for candidates to learn of their fate as quickly as possible.
He said: “This exam is essentially for masters’ programme so they must all have a first degree and must be in the relevant field that is related to the oil and gas sector. These are the basic qualifications for writing this exam.
“In our selection we put the federal character into consideration; that is why we have other centers across the nation and the federal character commission is represented at this interview and all other centers in the country’’.
Gusau explained that the screening of scholars was for both overseas and local programmes as the fund has recently been working towards domesticating its capacity building programme.
His words: “Even though the fund is trying to phase out overseas scholarship, it is still on because you can’t just stop abruptly. There has to be some kind of periodic checks to frequently directing the figures from foreign universities to Nigerian universities.
“As you can see quite a number of the beneficiaries of PTDF capacity building programme are working in the oil and gas sector. A large number are also in the university system, like a kind of train the trainer programme whereby we equip the universities to handle more and more people who are interested in working and acquiring skills for the sector.
“ What we do essentially to improve the scholarship programme is to ensure that based on our own skills gap analysis, we understand where we have deficit in the oil and gas sector and we concentrate on those areas of deficit. As the sector is growing, new demands for skills are also growing, so we keep tracking and monitoring that and we tailor our capacity development programme to meet such demands.’’ he added.
In the same vein, the Federal Character Commission (FCC) expressed satisfaction with the enumeration process carried out by the Fund.
Commission representative and Chairman, Committee on Petroleum Resources, Mamman Alakayi, who monitored the exercise, said federal character compliance, would level playing ground for each candidate who has applied and to also allow all qualified candidates to participate.
“I was part of the short listing process and the federal character played a role from the onset. It is a rule of federal character that they should advertise and that was done; the advert is allowed to run for six weeks to give every interested candidate time to apply.