Peace Obi 

The Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF on Wednesday explained that the candidates for its overseas scholarship for masters’ and doctorate degrees were selected based on candidates’ past academic performance and the potential of their proposals to address challenges confronting the petroleum industry and the country in general.

The Executive Secretary of the PTDF, Dr Bello Gusau made the clarification during the induction ceremony for successful candidates for the PTDF overseas doctoral scholarship programme in Abuja, yesterday.

He said, “We decided that the selection of most of the candidate was based on their earlier academic endeavours, especially their earlier degrees. More importantly, it was based on the specific proposals and statement of purposes that they presented.

“We looked at the proposals that have the potential to address real-life changes, not only in our industry but in the country at large. The point is that at the level of Ph.D., we are not just interested in creating skills and competencies; we are particular in the projects, the potentials of the research to existing challenges.

“We want you to have at the back of your mind that you are there to address challenges of progress. Do as much as possible to gear your research to one particular issue that you are interested in back at home. I will call on you to direct your minds toward the contribution you would make in addressing many of our numerous challenges.”

Speaking also, the Special Assistant to the Director General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr David Akoji said the Federal Government expects people on its scholarship to project the country’s ethics and values through their behaviours and interactions so as to create a positive impression about Nigeria.

He said, “At the National Orientation Agency, NOA, we are trying to raise citizens who are Nigerian diplomats in whatever country they go to. If you look at most nations of the world, you are able to identify where a person comes from by the way the person carries him or herself; by the way the person behaves; by the value and ethics the person projects.

“Now we are concerned that any Nigeria that is traveling outside of Nigeria to another country should reflect behaviours that are in accordance with ethics and values that are established in the 1999 constitution, as amended. Those ethics are clearly spelled out in the constitution. They are ethics of discipline, patriotism, the dignity of labour, loyalty amongst others.”

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