PTDF Executive Secretary Dr. Bello Gusau, in an interview with the Nigerian News Agency in Abuja on Monday, said the recipients had obtained first degree degrees, as well as master’s and doctoral (PhD) degrees.
According to Gusau, PTDF, under the strategic direction of his fund, awards scholarships to master’s and doctoral applicants in the UK, Germany, France, China and Malaysia.
He said the fund sponsored students/awardees in all major disciplines related to the oil and gas and energy industries, including engineering, geosciences, environmental studies, computer science and management.
“This has enhanced the increased contribution of local content to the industry, facilitated knowledge transfer and fueled the development of indigenous research and the growth of Nigerian businesses,” said Gusau.
He explained that with the scholarships awarded, successful scholars were mandated to return to Nigeria to add value to its economy.
The executive secretary stated that the impacts of the training on the national economy, upon his return, have been positive and added that the beneficiaries were largely more knowledgeable in their respective fields.
He said it was the fund’s greatest wish that the knowledge gained be transferred to others, both in the public and private sectors, to develop specialized indigenous human capital that is expected to replace expatriates.
The PTDF chief said the fund had committed hundreds of millions of dollars in sponsorship of Nigerians over the years in various training programs, as it worked to fulfill its mandate since its inception in 2002.
“Information related to the expenditure of funds, as detailed in our audited accounts, may be accessed in accordance with the provisions of the Public Information Law and other applicable regulations.
Gusau, while reacting to the impression that many students, after receiving grants from the PTDF to study abroad, never returned home, the purpose of the investment, said that the recipients were expected to return and contribute significantly to national development.
He added that the purpose of the scholarships was to train and equip Nigerians to participate in and contribute to the country’s oil and gas industry, either directly or indirectly, through academia.
“While we are not opposed to our grantees temporarily staying in their study countries to gain relevant experiences, we do hope that PTDF grantees will eventually return to Nigeria and contribute their share to national development.
“The awardees, especially at the doctoral level, who come from academia and industry, are linked to ensure that they return to the country and their workplaces after their studies,” he said.
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