|Uche Usim, Abuja
The Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) on Thursday said it was preparing to conduct an interview for 19,323 applicants who applied for the 2019/2020 overseas postgraduate scholarship scheme (MSC/Ph.D.) under its strategic partnerships with Universities in the United Kingdom, Germany, and France.
The spokesman of the fund, Kalu Otisi, said the application period lasted for six weeks, while 19,323 applications were received.
The breakdown is made up of 15,822 MSc students and 3,501 PhD overseas scholarship seekers.
According to Otisi, the physical oral interview exercise for the shortlisted candidates in the two categories (MSc/PhD) will hold between Monday, April 29 and May 10, 2019, in the six geopolitical zones.
He said: “The establishment of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund by the Federal Government was a response to the failure of international oil companies to transfer knowledge, skills and technology to Nigerians after years of oil and gas exploration in Nigeria. The increasing capital flight coupled with little linkage between the economy and the oil and gas industry made it more imperative for the Federal government to step in and take effective control of capacity building in the petroleum sector. The goal was to produce well-trained Nigerians that would take over the roles that were being played by expatriates in the oil and gas industry, thus ensuring the effective deployment of Nigerian professionals in the management and operational segments of the industry. The establishment of PTDF in 1973, which later became fully functional in 2000 was therefore the first major step by the Federal government at institutionalising the policy of local manpower development for the oil and gas industry.
“The PTDF Overseas Scholarship Scheme has over the years succeeded in producing well trained, competent and skilled professional manpower for the various segments of the oil and gas industry. The areas of training
include Engineering, Geology, Environmental Studies, Sciences, Management, Law, Accounting, Renewable Energy, Information Technology and offshore related courses.
“4,816 Nigerians have so far benefitted from PTDF Overseas Scholarship Schemes with 1,449 PhD beneficiaries and 3,367 MSc students have benefited,” Otisi explained.