The Federal Government has shortlisted about 8,800 applicants from among 26,000 that applied for its overseas scholarship programme.
The Manager, Overseas Scholarship Scheme at Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Bello Mustapha, stated this on Monday during the commencement of the interviews for the applicant at the Abuja centre.
The annual PTDF scholarship has been ongoing since 2000 with sponsorships in masters and Ph.Ds.
He said, “Specifically, we have shortlisted about 8,800 for everything from 26,000 people; we’re using here and we are using the other centres.”
Mustapha said while the interview in Abuja will last for three weeks, Bauchi will be one week due to fewer applicants while Kaduna, Lagos, Port Harcourt centres will hold for two weeks to cover the entire six geopolitical zones.
On the expected number of persons to be selected to begin the 2022/2023 session in September, he said, “I think last year, we took three for MSC and two for PhD, so I don’t know this year we would have to look at our budget before I think we come up with the final selection.”
He, however, said there is a concession for the oil-producing states.
The selected candidates will be trained in the UK where PTDF has a pact with 18 universities; Germany, Malaysia, France and China.
Mustapha said none will be sent to China this session. “Now we have some in China even though we are not using China this year because of the global pandemic issue.”
The PTDF official said those that have been trained in the past have contributed to the Nigerian economy.
“We have been sponsoring people over the years and some of them have come back to Nigeria and they are contributing to the Nigerian economy. Some of them are in Shell, some of them in NNPC. We have a lot of scholars; they have proved themselves,” noted Mustapha.