Lagos - The Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF)
faces an uncertain future.
Officials said they had suspended the scholarship
programme after the government could not release the more than N57 billion
(US$342 million) it had earlier allocated for the programme.
Dr Oluwole Oluleye, PTDF Executive Secretary disclosed
this while addressing the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources during the committee’s
oversight tour of the agency’s projects.
Senator Emmanuel Paulker led the committee.
Oluleye said his agency was struggling to keep its
programmes afloat because government had failed to meet its obligation of
The “refusal” by government to release funds had
subsequently led to the agency’s failure to pay the fees for students to study
“We (PTDF) have struggled to keep the scholarship afloat
and I have had to travel to some of the schools to explain the challenges and
they (foreign universities) have been very understanding,” he said.
“PTDF can no longer pay salaries. We only managed to pay
junior staff. If funds are not released within the next two months beginning
from this month, we may close shop,” he added.
Dr Oluleye disclosed that his agency had written
severally for the release of the debt but regretted that all had been without
PTDF was established 40 years ago for purposes of
training and education of Nigerians in the petroleum industry.
The Fund is available for the purposes of training locals
to qualify as graduates, professionals, technicians and craftsmen in the fields
of engineering, geology, science and management in the petroleum industry in
the country and abroad.
– CAJ News