The Nigerian government on Monday said it has shortlisted about 8,800 students for scholarship opportunities abroad.
The shortlisted students were from among 26,000 that applied for its overseas scholarship programme backed by Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF).
The annual PTDF scholarship has been ongoing since 2000, giving sponsorship placements for Nigerians acquiring masters and Ph.Ds.
The manager of the Overseas Scholarship Scheme at PTDF, Bello Mustapha, announced the number of shortlisted candidates in Abuja.
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.
Mustapha said he is optimistic that the beneficiaries will add value and contribute to Nigeria’s growth.
“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,” Mustapha said.
The selected candidates will be trained in the UK where PTDF has a pact with 18 universities; Germany, Malaysia, France and China.
He, however, noted that no candidate will be sent to China due to “the global pandemic issue.”