The management of Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF, has intensified efforts to ensure improved funding of the agency.
The Executive Secretary of the agency, Dr. Oluwole Oluleye stated that, “Since I assumed duty on May 16, 2013 my priority has been to ensure that PTDF is properly funded to enable us meet our most pressing financial obligations’’.
He said this was because I met the Agency in a precarious financial situation with mounting liabilities to contractors and threats of premature termination of our scholars’ studies due to delayed remittances of tuition and upkeep allowances.
Oluleye said, “I am glad to inform you that this situation has greatly improved as a result of the positive intervention of the Honourable Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani-Alison Madueke who is working tirelessly to ensure the release of outstanding monies due to the Fund which accumulated over a three year period.
He said, “On our part, we re-directed all available funds towards the maintenance Oluleye of our scholars abroad. Today, as I speak to you, the problems with the students have virtually been resolved and no scholar, I repeat no PTDF scholar has been sent back to Nigeria.’’
The Executive Secretary said, “I need to emphasize this point in order to clear the air on some recent publications alleging that PTDF had temporarily suspended funding of scholarships for students under its responsibility. This is far from the truth as we have managed to keep the students in school. Our students should not be distracted by the publication.
He said, “Let me assure you that based on the actions taken so far by the Hon. Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani-Alison Madueke to get us funded, there is a clear indication that the Federal Government is committed to fulfilling all its obligations to PTDF, particularly the sustenance of our scholarship programme and other capacity building initiatives.
The Executive Secretary said he ensured that the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Upstream) that due to the efforts of the Hon. Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani-Alison Madueke the release of our funds is imminent.
He said, “It is on the strength of this we have advertised for the 2014/2015 Overseas Scholarship Scheme and we expect that interested Nigerians who are qualified for the Scheme will apply within the time frame allowed for submission of applications.
The Executive Secretary said, “The PTDF as an Agency of government does have some financial challenges. This is not unusual as other public agencies and private organizations sometimes experience glitches in the processing of funds. The good news is that the relevant authority responsible for our funding is on top of the situation. We therefore expect that within a very short time all outstanding financial issues will be resolved.”
The PTDF is a parastatal under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources established by Degree 25 of 1973 dedicated for the purpose of development, promotion and implementation of petroleum technology and manpower development through research and training of Nigerians as graduates, professionals, technicians and craftsmen in the fields of engineering, geology, geosciences, management, economics and relevant fields in the petroleum and solid minerals industry in Nigeria or abroad.
Information from National Mirror was used in this report.