The Executive Secretary, PTDF, Dr. Oluwole Oluleye, said although he met the agency in a precarious financial situation when he assumed duties in March, its fiscal standing had improved over time.
The PTDF trains Nigerians in the country or abroad to qualify as graduates, professionals, technicians and craftsmen in the field of engineering, geology, science and management in the oil and gas industry.
Last week, the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), issued a seven-day ultimatum to the PTDF to provide details of its earnings in the last five years so as to ascertain if the agency was financially capable of carrying out its stipulated functions.
Oluleye told journalists in Abuja on Monday that the Minister of Petroleum Resources had ensured that the agency had funds to attend to its tasks.
He said, “I am glad to inform you that this (financial) situation has greatly improved as a result of the positive intervention of the minister, who is working to ensure the release of outstanding money due the Fund, which accumulated over a three-year period.
“There is a normal process of getting funds and that is what they are going through now, and I can confidently tell you that by next week, we will have some inflow if not by the end of this week.”
The PTDF boss explained that the agency had re-directed all available funds towards the maintenance of its scholars abroad.
He said the problems with the students had virtually been resolved and no scholar had been sent back to Nigeria.
Oluleye said, “I need to emphasise this point in order to clear the air on some recent publications alleging that the PTDF had temporarily suspended the 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 such publications.
“On overseas scholarships, it is not going to be discontinued. We are only going to scale down on it because we have trained a lot of people who are already in Nigeria and we feel they can fulfil the roles they are supposed to play.”
Information from Punch was used in this report.