To ensure they become good ambassadors of Nigeria, the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) has begun an induction programme for overseas-bound under its offshore scholarship programme.
In line with the arrangement, the Fund has inducted 324 indigent students shortlisted for it 2019/2020 Masters of Science (MSc) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) scholarship scheme.
194 scholars are for the MSc programme, while 148 are for Ph.D.
The Executive Secretary of PTDF, Dr. Bello Aliyu Gusau, who spoke at the event in Abuja urged the beneficiaries to live above board in all their dealings.
Gusau, described the PTDF scholarship scheme as the best in the country, adding that the programme was tailored to help develop the country’s oil and gas sector.
According to him, “You have passed through a very rigorous process and you are among the few selected from thousands of applications received and starting from today, you are now in the list of awardees of PTDF scholarships.”
He explained that the PTDF scholarship was the best in Nigeria because it had been structured in a manner to ensure that, “we exclusively take care of our students and in turn the oil and gas sector.
“Please, make sure you complete your studies as at when due so that we don’t make further commitments on you because we want to channel resources to other beneficiaries.
“Ensure that the time allocated to you is well utilized and respect the rules and procedures of the countries and universities you are and aspire high in whatever you do.
“Be good ambassadors of Nigeria because the country is doing so much for you; after studies, come back and contribute to the well-being of the country,” Gusau said.
Similarly, David Akoji, Special Adviser to Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), said it was the duty of the agency to impact good ethics, value and patriotism on the scholars.
This, he said would help in the way and manner the beneficiaries represent the country in the various universities abroad.
He stressed that at NOA, “we try to raise citizens who are Nigeria’s diplomats in whatever country they go to. We want Nigerians to reflect behaviours that are in accordance with the ethics and values that are established in the 1999 constitution as amended in chapter 2 sub-sections 23 and those ethics are well spelt out in the constitution.
He observed that “they are ethics of discipline, patriotism, dignity of labour, loyalty; they are about seven of them and we want those going to study abroad to project this ethics and value so that by the way they behave people can build positive impressions about Nigeria.
“The international media will hardly project any positive thing about Nigeria, so, it is our duty as citizens when we travel outside this country to show that Nigeria is far better than what is being projected in some of the international media.
“So, our aim is to bring these scholars to understand that we have so many positives in Nigeria including vast resources,” Akoji said.
He further said Nigerian students had excelled in Ivy League schools in Europe and America.
Rabiah Adamu-Waziri, Manager, Education and Training at PTDF said the beneficiaries are those that excelled in oil and gas in their first degrees.
According to her, each state of the federation presented five scholars for the MSc with the nine oil-producing states having extra slots because of Federal Government’s interest in the Niger Delta and the damage of exploration in the area.
“We give extra slots to the nine oil-producing states having considered the damage exploration has done in the area, and we need most of them to be involved in the oil and gas industry.