The Petroleum Training Development Fund, PTDF, has given scholarships to 60 students to study oil and gas-related courses at Ostfold University College in Fredrikstad, Norway.
The Executive Secretary of the PTDF, Oluwole Oluleye, said this on Saturday in Abuja at the departure ceremony organised for the students.
Mr. Oluleye, who was represented by the General Manager (Administration and Human Resources) of the Fund, Balarabe Ahmad, said that the programme was organised in partnership with United Nations Institute for Training and Research and was also part of the PTDF’s intervention efforts in the Niger Delta area and other parts of the country to empower the youth.
He said the students – 12 girls and 48 boys – were selected from various secondary schools across the country, adding, however, that 70 per cent of them were from the Niger Delta region.
Mr. Oluleye noted that the Fund was known for training people via local and overseas scholarship schemes at postgraduate levels, adding that it decided to extend the scheme to cover undergraduates because of the success of the programme.
“The Fund decided that it would also be beneficial to Nigeria if youths were given the opportunity to explore various undergraduate programmes under the Amnesty Programme of the Federal Government. The Federal Government has designed various programmes to engage our youths in such a way that they will contribute meaningfully to national development, while steering them away from militancy and mischief,” he said.
Mr. Oluleye warned the students against being carried away by the euphoria of their success in the selection process, advising them rather to work hard and make the country proud.
In his speech, the General Manager (Education Programme) of the Fund, Hammed Galadima, said that there were more than 600 Nigerian students studying in various universities across the world under the aegis of the PTDF
He advised the students to abide by the terms of the scholarship which, he said, excluded the extension of the programme due to poor performance.
“There will be no room for you to repeat; you should ensure that that you finish your programme within the given time” he warned.
One of the students, Doubre Peter, who is from Warri, Delta, thanked the Federal Government for the opportunity given to him through the scheme, pledging to make Nigeria proud.
Mohammed Mohammed, another beneficiary from Salisu International Secondary School, Katsina, said that the award was a rare gesture, stressing that he would make the best out of it.
A female beneficiary, Aresuo Isu-Sylvanus , who is from Bayelsa, said that the scholarship would give her life meaning, adding that she would strive to contribute her own quota to Nigeria’s development.