Dwindling Oil Revenue Forces PTDF to Speed-up In-country Scholarships


Chineme Okafor in Abuja

The Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) has said that it is stepping up its capacity to hold most of its training programmes, particularly its overseas scholarship scheme in-country because of Nigeria’s current poor receipts from oil and gas sales.

The agency said that it has stepped up the domestication of its education and training programmes in-country, and that a greater percentage of beneficiaries of its scholarships will now undergo their studies at top Nigerian universities and centres of excellence it upgraded to its accepted standard.

The Fund said that although it has over the years implemented a gradual domestication policy with the award of local scholarships to deserving students in Nigerian universities it has upgraded, it is now going to accelerate the process with effective utilisation of some of the institutions it developed from scratch.

It also disclosed that it has initiated strategic partnerships and collaborations with local and foreign universities, training and research institutions, as well as curriculum development service providers in this regard, adding that one of institutions being proposed for this phase of the domestication drive is the National Institute for Petroleum Policy and Strategy (NIPPS) under construction in Kaduna.

It said in a statement in Abuja that the federal government approved the development of NIPPS as part of the Fund’s infrastructure and human capital development programmes.

The statement, which was signed by its head of media, Kalu Otisi, noted that NIPPS will come with a state-of-the-art training facilities and learning environment for the development of research, technology, skills and relevant manpower for Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.

“With a technology development and management wings, the institute is specifically designed to undertake industry related trainings for executive and senior management personnel in the oil and gas industry, provide training for fresh graduates in oil and gas related disciplines to improve their employability in the petroleum industry, and host a-one-stop analytical laboratory for effective research and development activities,” said the statement.

It added that it will also offer oil and gas related post graduate degree programmes, welding and fabrication training programmes, as well as research in renewable energy sources.
According to it, the Robert Gordon University Aberdeen, has in this regards expressed its willing ness to partner with the Fund, and recently visited it to determine how it can effectively engage with it.

It quoted its Acting Executive Secretary, Ahmed Aminu to have said during the visit of the team from Robert Gordon University that it will now train more Nigerians at home without compromising on standards.

The renewed domestication drive, Aminu said was tied to the government’s initiative to look inwards and build in-country capacity in-line with the spirit and intent of Nigerian Content.