The Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Dr Oluwole Oluleye, at the weekend blamed the skipping of the organisation’s scholarship scheme in 2013 on lack of funds.
This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja by Mr Kalu Otisi, Head, Media and External Relations of the PTDF.
The statement stated that Oluleye made this known when he received the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) in Abuja.
Oluleye, however, stated that the 2013 scholarship award was combined with that of 2014 but did not disclose if full settlements were made for 2013 awards.
“What I met on ground was not so palatable; a lot of students were owed, we couldn’t pay, because we had no funds to pay.
“I felt at that point that there was absolutely no need of taking additional students though I was under pressure to do so.
“I wanted to make sure that those on our foreign scholarship and those in Nigerian universities are paid as and when due,” he said.
Oluleye expressed commitment of PTDF to ensuring that Nigerian students who distinguished themselves benefited from the scholarship scheme.
“As part of the transformation agenda, those who distinguished themselves in academics with first class degrees are automatically sent abroad for masters’ and doctoral programmes.
“Those who have 2.2 are not totally left out, and this shows President Goodluck Jonathan’s interest in ensuring that adequate local manpower is created to take over the industry,” he said.
He commended the new initiative of NANS toward entrepreneurship, saying it would ensure that Nigerian youths were empowered to take their rightful position in the economy.
The statement said that Oluleye was presented with a plaque of the “Exceptional Service” by the students’ leaders in recognition of the role of PTDF in championing the cause of students and youths.
Earlier, NANS National Vice-President, Ahmad Jibril, who led the team, said that the association was ready to partner PTDF to improve on the development of academics and scholarship among students. (NAN)