By Vivian Emoni
The Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), on Monday in Abuja, shortlisted over 5,000 applicants nationwide for award of scholarship for the 2023/2024 academic session overseas scheme.
The Head, Oversees Scholarship Scheme in the PTDF, Mrs Bolanle Kehinde-Agboola, said this at a selected interview exercise for the shortlisted candidates for MSc and Ph.D. postgraduate programmes.
Kehinde-Agboola said that the selection interview was in continuation of the application process which commenced in Feb. 13, 2023, through publications in some national newspapers, inviting qualified Nigerians to apply.
According to her, “what is happening here today is the interview for the award of scholarship to Nigerians for the 2023/2024 academic session.
“We have shortlisted over 5,000 applicants to partake in the exercise which is going on in the six geo-political zones.
“The first criteria is that you must be a Nigerian. For the masters programme the applicant must be a student of any of the oil and gas fields like engineering, geology, computer sciences, environmental sciences and management.
“You must have a minimum of second class upper in any of these fields for you to be qualified,’’ she said.
Kehinde-Agboola said the process of applying for the exercise was that the agency would open the application windows at the end of the year for candidates to apply.
She said that the PTDF was an agency charged with the capacity to strengthen and develop oil and gas sector, indicating that the essence of the programme was to train who would bring new innovation into the sector.
She added that the aim of the exercise was also to offer the applicants the necessary skills required to function effectively in the industry.
“The candidates are sent abroad to study the relevant skills. This scholarship scheme is running in the United Kingdom, while “we also have what is called strategic partnership in France, Germany, Malaysia and China.
“This scholarship interview scheme will run for one week nationwide and the number of successful applicants depends on its budget for this year.
“The agency has two types of collaborations in this programme, the United Kingdom collaboration and the strategic partnership collaboration.”
The head of scholarship scheme said that the scheme had been existing over the years, adding that the agency had discovered that some applicants do submit fake certificates.
According to her, “we have had a situation where someone finished from a university with third class in Nigeria and came with a first class certificate from a foreign university that is fake.
“We were able to detect such fake certificates, and because of that, we decided to take a further step to ratify the issue by ensuring that this selection runs with integrity and diligence.
“This year, we have deployed some equipment that will help us to detect fake certificates.
“We will always strive for excellence and make ensure the programme has integrity.
“We engaged external experts to review the shortlisted applicants to ensure that whoever is shortlisted is qualified to attend the interview.
“After the interview, the successful applicants will emerge and the award will be given to them, ” she said.
Kehinde-Agboola said that the exercise has been structured to efficiently deal with the high number of applicants and to satisfy federal character stipulations. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Vincent Obi