By Edith Ike-Eboh
Abuja, Oct. 19, 2020 Dr Bello Gusau, the Executive Secretary, Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), has urged the selected PHD scholars under its local scholarship scheme to focus on research work for job creation in the sector.
Gusau made the call at the opening of the documentation of Local Scholars Scheme (LSS) awardees in Abuja on Monday.
He said currently, the number of selected scholars under the LSS was higher than the overseas scholarship programme, indicating that the LSS was the future of the fund.
“The LSS is designed to meet indigenous capacity gap in the oil and gas sector.
“As you are carrying out your research, focus on what will help to drive job creation in the industry.
“Becoming employers of labour is the best way to impact the sector,” he said.
Gusau said that LSS was keys to the fund as it focused on using it to close gap created by capacity building in the oil and gas sector in the country.
Hajia Rabi’ah Waziri-Adamu, who was represented by the manager, education and training said that 710 scholars were selected for the undergraduate, 546 for Masters and179 for PHD.
She said that 143 scholars invited for documentation under the PHD programmes were those who already had admission in a federal university.
He said that scholars were selected based on merit and competence under the tough screening of former PTDF beneficiaries.
“For selection, candidates are guided by the criteria that has been set by PTDF, they applied and send the applications as agreed according to the criteria of course, we use the Federal character.
“For the undergraduate awardees, we selected 20 from each state including the FCT and for the Masters and Phd, we selected 10 and five students per state including the FCT respectively.
“After this selection, applicants go through an interview, they face a panel of experts and these experts are not PTDF staff, they are drawn from the academia and the industry.
“I am happy to note that more than 70 per cent of the panelists are PTDF beneficiaries. As you know, our PHD sponsorship, 70 per cent of the slots are given to the lecturers and the rest given to industry and others.
“So, most of the panelists are PTDF beneficiaries. After the interview, which is strictly based on merit, final awardees are selected and after the selection they are invited for documentation,” he said.
Gusau said that to sponsor one PHD student, the fund paid a living allowance of N400, 000, project allowance of N200,000 per year, N100,000 IT allowance and N200,000 allowance for the purchase of a laptop.
He urged beneficiaries to ensure they put in their best to help in the development of the oil and gas sector and help government get value for the money spent on the training.
A scholar, Mr Usman Bello, from Bauchi, commended the fund for selecting him, adding that his research work would focus on Environmental Chemistry,
” I am happy to be selected for the scholarship to do my PHD. I do not know anybody here, I was selected based on what I have submitted, I am grateful.
“My research work will focus on using local materials in cleaning the oil spilling environment with focus on the Niger Delta,” he said.
Also, Ms Patience Oshuare from Delta State said that the selection process was very rigorious and noted that her research work would focus on using nanocomposite materials to treat waste water.
” I thank the PTDF for the opportunity, I will make effective use of it to help bring change in the society,” she said.