Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Rosatom, which is a state-run nuclear energy corporation of the Russian Federation, has announced its intention to train more Nigerians in safe use of nuclear technology.
The development which came at a time the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) disclosed that it received 27,474 applications from Nigerians asking for financial support to study various science-based courses at undergraduate and graduate levels across the world in the next academic year, indicated that Rosatom was now open to taking applications to fund nuclear energy studies by Nigerians at institutions in Russia.
A statement signed by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rosatom Central and Southern Africa, Dmitry Shornikov, disclosed this.
The federal government recently signed an agreement with Russia for the construction of nuclear power plants and a nuclear research centre in Nigeria.
But highlighting the rationale for the scholarship scheme, Shornikov, stated that: “The goal of the scholarship is to support interest in nuclear research and capabilities among young African scientists and engineers, and contribute to solving some of the world’s most critical issues in the nearest future, allowing for the continent to be self-sufficient.”
He explained that the scholarship package would include tuition fees and free preparatory courses in Russian language, adding that beneficiary students would also have access to subsidised accommodation; library funds and practical experience at Russian nuclear enterprises.
Shornikov, further noted the scheme was a great opportunity for scientists and engineers based specifically in Sub-Saharan Africa as well as for students who made progress in mathematics and the sciences and want to apply to studies courses in nuclear specialties.
Meanwhile, the PTDF has said that a total of 27,474 Nigerians have applied to it to be considered for the various platforms of its scholarship scheme in the upcoming academic year.
It said in a statement from its head of media, Mr. Kalu Otisi that the applications it received were for its overseas postgraduate scholarship scheme implemented under its strategic partnership with universities in the United Kingdom (UK); Germany and France, as well as for undergraduate; masters and doctoral studies in Nigerian federal universities under its local scholarship scheme.
According to Otisi, application for the overseas scholarship had closed in December, while that of the local scholarship expired in November 2018.
A breakdown of the applications indicated that 15,822 applied for the overseas scholarship scheme in the master category, while 3,501 applications were received for the doctoral scholarship award.
“Of the 8,151 that applied for the PTDF local scholarship scheme, 3,740 were for the undergraduate award, 3,393 for MSc and 1,017 for PhD.
“The next stage of the processing is the screening of candidates for interview shortlist. This will be based on the class of degree, O-level grades, and strength of personal statement.
Only those who meet the minimum requirements for each category of the programme and those who possess the best credentials based on the strength and quality of their qualifications and relevance of their proposed study to the Fund’s mandate and the oil and gas industry will be invited for interviews at a date to be announced by the Fund,” said Otisi.