3,237 candidates have been shortlisted for interview by the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) under its In-country Scholarship Scheme (ISS) for Masters and PhD award categories.
PTDF In-country Scholarship Scheme Head, Mrs. Violet Ogbomo announced this on Tuesday in Abuja at the inauguration of the five-day selection interview for shortlisted candidates for 2021/2022 academic session.
The ISS is one of the scholarship programmes of the PTDF designed to provide Nigerian students with the requisite intellectual abilities and skill sets.
The PTDF sponsors students/awardees in all major disciplines related to oil, energy and gas industries, including engineering, geosciences, environmental studies, computing and management.
The skills help the candidates to participate actively in Nigeria’s oil, energy, and gas industry after their studies in federal universities across the country.
Ogbomo said the scheme covered scholarship and sponsorship to train eligible Nigerians in Federal Universities across the country.
She said that 2,885 candidates had been shortlisted for the Masters while 352 candidates for the Phd category across the six geo-political zones in the country.
“It is taking place simultaneously in other locations including Bayero University Kano, University of Ibadan, University of Port Harcourt, University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi.
She said the candidates were also given opportunity to choose centres closest to them for the interview and also for the virtual interview.
“Each day we are expected to interview an average of 353 candidates in each of the five centres apart from Enugu, which has fewer number of candidates that subscribed to that location.
“The decision of the number to be taken is left for the management to take at the end of the exercise,” she said.
Ogbomo further said that the panelists were selected based on competence and were expected to display professionalism, commitment and equity to all the candidates that would appear before them.
“Presently we have officials from the Federal Character Commission too, and therefore they are in all the centres to monitor the interview,” she said.
Few of the candidates who spoke to NAN expressed optimism to get to the final selection in view of the scheme’s importance.
Mr Adebayo Samuel, a Petroleum Geology student of the ABU, Zaria lauded the scheme, adding that the fund would assist selected candidate in carrying out some research, especially the PhD candidates.
“Carrying out research in Geosciences is very expensive, with the aid of PTDF students can easily get fund to carry out this research in their area of specialisation,” he said.
Another candidate, Abdulkabir Ahmed, a Geosciences student expressed gladness that if selected the award would reduce his financial burden because his works were based mostly on field research which required expenses.
“I am working on field geology and petroleum exploration in inland basis, the fund will go a long way to help me,” he said.