PTDF says Overseas Scholarship Scheme no longer sustainable

*Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF, Dr. Bello Gusau.

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

14 April 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Dr. Bello Gusau, on has said granting student scholarships to school overseas was no longer sustainable.

Gusau said this in Abuja at an interactive session where he hosted Vice-Chancellors of Federal Universities in Nigeria.

In a statement by the PTDF Head, Press and External Relations Unit, Mr. Kalu Otisi, made available to the media, Gusau said there would be a new strategic agenda that would govern the training and capacity building programmes of the Fund.

Gusau said, “At the centre of the agenda is the domestication of all PTDF training and capacity building programmes with the implication that Nigerian university will now play a greater role in the process as partners and major stakeholders.

“The present scholarship arrangement, which is disproportionately focused on the Overseas Scholarship Scheme, is no longer sustainable and therefore needs to be reversed.”

He added that. “The bulk of the scholarship for both the Masters and Ph.D.’s to be offered going forward, ould be for training in Nigerian universities.

“We are also open to collaboration, especially through the split-site Ph.D programme.”

Gusau said the meeting with the Vice-Chancellors was to agree on relevant terms as well as gather sufficient information that will assist the Fund in the planning and implementation process.

He, however, said the PTDF had not completely jettisoned the overseas scholarship programmes but would continue to sponsor few candidates, especially for courses that were not offered in Nigerian universities and through partnership agreements with select foreign universities.

The Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, lauded the initiative, saying it tallied with the vision to collectively reform post-graduate training in Nigeria.

Abubakar described PTDF as the single most important intervention agency outside the education family intervening to build capacity in select areas in the country.

He said: “No other agency in the last 20 years or more, outside the education ministry, has demonstrated adequate responsibility and interest in changing the knowledge industry in Nigeria.

“I want to commend the Executive Secretary for his vision and his faith in the Nigerian university system.”

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