The Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) has disclosed that more than 8,000 candidates have been shortlisted for its Overseas Scholarship Scheme (OSS) interview for Masters and Ph.D awards.

Alhaji Bello Mustapha, Head, Overseas Scholarship Scheme Division, PTDF made this known Monday in Abuja at the opening of the selection interview for shortlisted candidates for the 2022/2023 academic session, according to reports.

PTDF under its strategic direction provides scholarships to Masters and PhD degree applicants in partnership with universities in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, China, and Malaysia.

PTDF sponsors students/awardees in all major disciplines related to oil and gas and energy industries, including engineering, geosciences, environmental studies, computing, and management.

Mustapha said the selection interview was a continuous process that began on 20th December 2021, through publications in some national newspapers inviting qualified Nigerians nationwide to apply.

He said said under the 2022/2023 academic session, it advertised the scholarship and called for application and more than 26,000 people applied, while over 8,000 were selected for interview.

He said the PTDF OSS was an annual programme that began in 2,000, aimed at providing Nigerian students with the intellectual foundation and skills needed to participate actively in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.

“We conduct the interviews in the six geopolitical zones of the country but presently we are doing in five geo- geopolitical zones of the country this year because of the issues of insecurity in the South East.

“So, we are using Ibadan, Bauchi, Port Harcourt, Abuja, and Kaduna, while South East candidates are asked to choose any convenient centre from other zones.

“It will run for three weeks in Abuja, then two weeks in the other centres apart from Bauchi. Bauchi will run for one week because we do not have many candidates in the Bauchi centre,’’ he said.

According to him, the final selection would depend on its budgetary allocation.

Few of the candidates who spoke to newsmen expressed joy for being shortlisted in the scholarship scheme while expressing optimism for the final selection.

PTDF is saddled with the responsibility of building capacities, and technological manpower in the oil and gas industry in line with the requirements of the mandate of the establishment.

The overseas scholarship scheme is one of the flagship programme of the organisation.

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