Overseas scholarship: PTDF assures on transparent, open selection process

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The Petroleum Trust Development Fund (PTDF) has assured on transparent, open and stress-free selection process for would be scholars and beneficiaries of its 2024 scholarship scheme.

The Team Lead for the PTDF scholarship interview for the Southwest zone, Mr Tajudeen Ibiyeye spoke at the Faculty of Technology Development, Civil Engineering Department, University of Ibadan.

He noted that various innovations had been introduced despite the large volume of applicants to make the process seamless and more rewarding for the applicants in line with the renewed hope agenda of the Federal Government. 

He said out of the over 16, 000 applicants for the PhD and Msc scholarships, 5,733 candidates were shortlisted for the interview stage nationally with 953 shortlisted in the Southwest. 

Ibiyeye said: “For the PhD, Msc overseas scholarship program of the PTDF this year we have shortlisted over 5,733 candidates nationwide, out of over 16,000 candidates that applied for the program. In Ibadan center which I represent, 953 candidates were shortlisted.

“In line with President Bola Tinubu Renewed Hope Agenda, we have increase the awareness, we make sure that the process is more transparent, and we made sure that people have more confidence in the program, and part of what we are doing is to focus on Mr President Renew Hope Agenda which deals with the transition from fuel to renewable energy and Compressed Natural Gas kn the choice of areas of scholarahip works for our scholars.

“With that we are ensuring that we select more candidates that will help in championing the renewable energy sector and carry out researches that will provide home grown solution to our challenges in the renewable energy sector so as to achieve Mr President’s Renew Hope Agenda.”

One of the panelists that carried out the interview for the shortlisted applicants, Dr Nuru Makushi said the programme is a major leap for the country to reduce the number of expertrates and foreigners who are dominating the renewable energy, oil and gas sector by providing trainings for Nigerians through scholarship. 

Makushi, who also benefitted from the overseas scholarship scheme for his Masters and PhD programmes an lectures at the Bayero University, Kano said he decided to return to the country to help contribute his quota to improving manpower despite the various offers he got from abroad after his programmes. 

He appealed to those who would benefit from the scheme to also take a leaf from him, adding that aside from signing a bond with the PTDF, patrotism must be played up.

“I benefitted from the overseas scholarship of the PTDF both for Masters and PhD, I did my Masters in Scotland, Institute of Petroleum, and my PhD was in London, South Bank University. 

“As an Ex-scholar, we have the experience and the capacity to basically know their technicality and the capacity of many applicants. So we were engaged to participate in this selection committee which even though rigorous but we have recorded successes.

“PTDF, as a parastatal from the ministry of Petroleum, the idea is to have more capacity building in Nigeria to solve indigenous problems. PTDF sponsors individuals to become experts and specialists in different oil and gas related courses, both in the industrial and academic areas.

“We select the best applicants. The best are basically those who benefit from the PTDF. we select from the state level, so different applicants from different states are the ones that are selected and are sent overseas o basically have their Masters and PhD programmes, which I believed helps to solve most of our problems in the industries and Academia.

Speaking on if bond is enough to ensure the scholars return to the country, the ex-scholar said: “Bonds and patriotism are related in some ways built I think, if you are not patriotic, even if you are bonded, you will not return. If you are not patriotic, then there is a problem. If you are bonded you can’t run away, so you have to be patriotic for you to come back to the country. There is so much money and opportunities there but you have to show patriotism to Nigeria.”

One of the interviewed applicants for the Msc programme, Idowu Adedapo commended the process and the seamless manner with which it was conducted expressing confidence in the transparent and honesty of the panel to shortlist the best hands for the scholarship. 

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