The Petroleum Technology Development Fund has shortlisted 8,800 applicants from 26,000 who applied for its overseas scholarship programme.
This was disclosed on Monday by the Manager, Overseas Scholarship, PTDF, Bello Mustapha, during interview sessions of the shortlisted applicants in Abuja.
The scheme is an annual scholarship programme where qualified applicants are sponsored for Msc and PhD scholarships in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, China and Malaysia.
Mustapha said that the process began in December 2021 and the shortlisted candidates would be interviewed across centres in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Kaduna and Bauchi.
“We conduct the interviews in the six geopolitical zones of the country, but we are doing in five geopolitical zones of the country this year because of the issues of insecurity in the South-East. So, we are using Ibadan; we are using Bauchi; we are using Port Harcourt; we are using here, and we are using Kaduna,” he said.
He disclosed that three applicants were selected for Msc and two for PhD from each state in 2021, adding that, “this year, we would have to look at our budget before final selection.”
He noted that there would be some concession for oil-producing states, stating that candidates in the South-East had been advised to pick centers outside the region to enable them take part in the interview process.
Mustapha said at the end of their training overseas, the scholars were expected to return to the country to contribute their skills and expertise in the petroleum industry and the Nigerian economy in general.
He said the PTDF had been sponsoring candidates over the years and some of them were in big companies like Shell and NNPC, noting that it was a worthwhile scheme.
One of the participants, David Amos, said the scholarship was a promising one as it was aimed at developing human capacity and national development, promising to return and contribute to the country if selected.
Another participant, Chukwu Sylvester, who intends to study Maritime Engineering Science in the UK, said he would bring his maritime skills to bear in the oil and gas sector if selected.
Amina Abdullahi, who intends to do a master’s degree in Oil and Gas Accounting and Finance in the UK, said it would be an opportunity to increase her expertise in the field and return to contribute to the growth of the oil and gas industry.