FG shortlists 5,000 for oil sector overseas scholarship exams

FG shortlists 5,000 for oil sector overseas scholarship exams
FG shortlists 5,000 for oil sector overseas scholarship exams

The Federal Government, on Monday, announced that about 5,000 persons have been shortlisted and participated in the oil and gas sector 2024 overseas scholarship examinations across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria.

It announced this through the Petroleum Technology Development Fund in Abuja, adding that each state of the federation would get the same number of successful participants who would be trained abroad.

The Head, Overseas Scholarship Scheme, PTDF, Bolanle Agboola, told journalists that the scheme would empower Nigerians with high-tech skills required in the oil and gas industry.

“What is happening here today is the final stage of the selection process for the award of the 2024 Overseas Scholarship to qualified Nigerians. This exercise is not just held in Abuja. We have centers in the six geopolitical zones across the country.

“We have a center for the South-South in the University of Port Harcourt; for the South-West, the University of Ibadan; for the South-East, the University of Nigeria Enugu Campus; and the North-West, we use the College of Petroleum and Energy Studies in Kaduna.

“For the North-East we have ATBU in Bauchi State, where the exercise is going on. So this year we received a total of over 20,000 applications, out of which over 5,000 were shortlisted to participate in this exercise,” she stated.

Asked to state the targeted number of participants that would get the scholarship, Abgoola stated that although the number had not been ascertained, each state of the federation would get the same number of participants.

She said, “Our goal is to select the best for the overseas scholarship. PTDF is an agency of the Federal Government that is charged with the responsibility of building capacity for the oil and gas industry.

“The purpose of this is for the indigenization of the Nigerian oil and gas sector. So the target is to provide the opportunity for Nigerians to acquire the knowledge, skills, and competencies needed for the oil and gas sector.

“On the target number to be selected, I cannot tell you that right now, but what I can tell you is that every state of the nation will get equal numbers based on our budget for the year. So I can’t tell you the number per state for now, because it is based on the budget we have for the year.”

Agboola pointed out that it was not possible for the government through PTDF to select all the 5,000 participants, but remained silent on the amount budgeted by the agency for the scholarship scheme.

“I am not in a position to tell you the budget that we have for the scheme. But I can tell you that the exercise is running concurrently in the other locations I mentioned earlier,” she stated.

On whether the overseas scholarship was not part of capital flight, and why the participants were not trained in Nigeria, the PTDF official said, “The reason for this is because we discovered that the oil and gas industry is a high-tech sector with high -level of equipment.

“Some of this equipment is not readily available in Nigeria. So the reason why we train people abroad is to be able to have hands-on on all this equipment and the technology that is needed for the industry, which is not readily available in Nigeria.

“And let me quickly add that part from the overseas scholarship, we also have the in-country scholarship whereby Nigerians are trained within Nigeria. So there are some universities in Nigeria that PTDF has upgraded their facilities to some level and we partner them to run these trainings.”

Agboola said the overseas scholarship would be held in various universities in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Malaysia.

 
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