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Petroleum fund faces collaspse

07 October 2013, 08:32Henry Ifeanyi

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 funding it.

The “refusal” by government to release funds had subsequently led to the agency’s failure to pay the fees for students to study abroad.

“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 success.

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



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