Interviews for the selection of candidates for the award of 2017/2018 PTDF Scholarship in the Ph.D. category have been scheduled to hold from Monday, July 24, 2017 to Friday July 28, 2017 at the PTDF Corporate Office, Plot 1058 Memorial Drive, Central Business District, opposite ShehuMusaYar’adua Center, Abuja from 8 a.m. each day.
A total of 1008 candidates have been shortlisted to face a Central Selection Committee panel constituted from the academia, industry and research institutes. The memberswill interview the shortlisted candidates on their PhD. research proposals in the 9 priority areas for the award of the Ph.D. scholarship. These are Environmental Studies and HSE (Health Safety and Environment),Marginal fields development, Flow Assurance and Pipelines Engineering, Geology, and Petroleum Geology, Civil and Marine Engineering, Renewable Energy, Reservoir Engineering/Production Technology, Refining Technology, Ship Building and Marine Technology, and other relevant oil and gas related disciplines.
Shortlisted candidates for the interview are being contacted through email and SMS notifications giving the specific dates and times for their interviews. Applicants are also advised to visit the application website using their PIN. Successful candidates will be able to log on to the site and print their notification slip which will contain necessary information and instructions. The PTDF PhD. Scholarship is for a duration of thirty six (36) months.
The Aptitude Test for the selection of candidates for the award of 2017/2018 PTDF Scholarship in the MSc category took place earlier this month in six centers located in the geopolitical zones of thecountry. The Executive Sectary, Petroleum Technology Development Fund, Dr. Bello Aliyu Gusau monitored the exercise in the Abuja and Kaduna centers where he gave an insight on the selection criteria for the award of PTDF scholarship.
“What we do essentially is to ensure that based on our own skills gap analysis, we understand where we do have deficit in the oil and gas sector. And we concentrate on those areas of deficit. As the sector is growing, new demands for skills are also growing, so we keep tracking and monitoring that and we tailor our capacity building programme to meet these demands”.
The Executive Secretary also commented on other issues affecting the scholarship schemes of the Fund in an interview.
- PTDF has been involved in this scheme for quite a while now, would you say that, the objective of the Overseas Scholarship Scheme has been achieved?
- To a large extent yes, it has been achieved in the sense that, it was designed as a stop gap measure to build capacity for us to do most of the training that we require in-country. A large number of the beneficiaries especially at the higher level of PhD are university lecturers, so we see it as some kind of train the trainer programme whereby we build capacity for people who will come home and also continue with the process of building capacity. We have done that for the last few years and the numbers that have benefited are quite large. We believe that, we have reached a point of comfort. In as much as we are not going to jettison the Overseas Scholarship Scheme, but the traffic will have to change going forward. We are going to focus more and more attention on Nigerian universities.
- Talking about the successes achieved so far, would you say that the beneficiaries of the scheme in the past years are impacting the oil and gas industry?
- They are doing very well in the sense that, quite a large number of them are working in the industry someeven before they availed themselves of this opportunity to go and further their education. In addition like I said earlier, quite a large number of them are also in the universities. So you can see that, the departments that are oil and gas related in the universities are adequately staffed and I can tell you that, majority of the staff in such departments were beneficiaries of the Overseas Scholarship Scheme.
- Talking about in-country training, what steps have you taken to ensure the successful implementation of that dream and is that going to be reflected in this year’s award?
A.We made it clear in the advert that, the people that are sitting for this year’s aptitude test are both for Overseas Scholarship Scheme and Local Scholarship Scheme. So depending on the programme, in such areas where our universities are deficientin facilities and faculty, then we will have to continue relying on foreign universities, but in areas where our own universities do have the necessary courses and programmes, we will increasingly re-direct the traffic to our own universities. We recently had ameeting with Vice Chancellors of Federal universities, to ensure that, some of the hitches that are normally associated with post graduate programmes in Nigerian universities are addressed. That is what we are doing.
- There seems to be an innovation. We are seeing representation from the Federal Character institution in monitoring the aptitude test in all the centers.What is the rationale behind the involvement of the Federal Character Commission in this year’s exam?
- it is a requirement for any public agency that is doing something involving the public to convince the Federal CharacterCommission thatthe States of the country are represented. That is what the FCC is doing here, and they are represented at a very high level in all the centers. You can see the commissioner is here himself, the same thing in Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Bauchi and Enugu, so it’s a requirement of the law that public agencies must tailor or design their programmes to impact on all sections of the country and that is what we are doing.
Engineer Ahmed Isaac, the Commissioner representing North West at the Federal Character Commission also justified the presence of the commission in this Interview.
- Let’sknow why you are here in Kaduna?
- Officially I am here to monitor the examination from the very beginning of it to its conclusion. So far so good, as far as we are concerned the exercise has been well organized and the conduct of same is quite commendable. At the end of it the overall exercise would be adjudged as compliant with federal character extant rules and regulation and once that is achieved and I believe it will, going by what I have been observing, a certificate of compliance will be issued to PTDF.
- How do you adjudge the exercise as federal character compliant?
- By the register, because we insisted that all the candidates must indicate their names, their state of origin, so going by what we have observed, all the states are fairly represented, so that is why I am saying its federal character compliant.
Kalu Otisi Esq
Head, Press and External Relations