PTDF Begins Screening of Applicants for Overseas Scholarship

Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt

The Petroleum Trust Development Fund (PTDF) has begun the screening of applicants for its overseas scholarship programme for master’s and doctoral degrees.

The PTDF had on February 5, 2024 put out an advert inviting qualified Nigerians to apply for the 2024/2025 Postgraduate Overseas Scholarship Scheme (OSS). 

The physical Interview exercise for shortlisted candidates in the two categories (MSc/PhD) began on May 20, will last till May 24, 2024 in six designated centres of the six geo-political zones.

The purpose of the an annual scholarship programme is to provide Nigerian students with the intellectual foundation and skill set needed to participate actively in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.

The General Manager of PTDF’s Projects Department, Mrs Ifeoma Nwokike, who spoke with journalists during the screening at the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Rivers State, yesterday, stated that the scheme was to bridge identified skills gap within the oil and gas sector.

She said, “The overseas scholarship scheme is done by PTDF to bridge identified skills gap within the oil and gas industry. Our mandate is capacity building in the oil and gas industry and we have been mandated to train Nigerians in the different skills and vacations in the oil and gas industry. 

“So we give these scholarships to train Nigerians in top universities abroad so that they can come back and contribute to the oil and gas industry in the identified skills gap. The overseas scholarship scheme is well thought out and we have been able to fill the gaps over the years.”

Nwokike said 600 candidates were participating in Port Harcourt, which is the south-south zonal centre, stating, that the number of candidates to be awarded the scholarship will be dependent on funding.

“We train the best of Nigerians and PTDF scholars are known everywhere in the world. Our funding will determine the number of candidates that will be picked for the scholarships. The gaps are in engineering, geosciences, environmental studies and renewables,” she stated.

On his part, the Team Lead, Overseas Scholarship Interview Programme, Port Harcourt Centre, Ere Iyalla, said criteria for qualification included good WAEC result, research proposal, statement of purpose and how it fits into the needs of the industry and professional memberships.

One of the candidates, Caleb Nwobasi, who is pursuing an opportunity for a master’s programme in civil engineering and management at the University of Glasgow, said, “I believe the process was fair and transparent, I believe there will be no backyard thing. This is my second time of applying, I applied two years ago and I wasn’t lucky. This year I had to put more efforts,  ensured all the relevant documents required are available so there will be no lapses.”

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