The Executive Secretary, Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Dr Bello Gusau, says the National College for Petroleum Studies, Kaduna would soon become operational.
Gusau said this while answering questions from journalists on Saturday in Kaduna after inspecting the conduct of examination for the PTDF scholarship scheme.
The examination was conducted across the six geopolitical zones for candidates who applied to undertake Masters degrees in various courses related to the Oil and Gas sector.
Recalled that work on the college along Kaduna-Zaria road, awarded at over N15 billion in 2009, was to be completed within within two years.
Eight years after, the project still remains uncompleted. This was attributed to strong opposition to the project by the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison Madueke and many strongmen in the Niger Delta who believed that the proposed college would be a mere duplication of the mission and vision for which the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI) in Effurun, Delta State was established in 1973.
The Executive Secretary, however, assured that the project was at its final stage and “the institute would be operational sooner than later.”
The college is designed to run advanced professional courses for oil and gas workers in the ECOWAS sub region.
Gusau said also that the PTDF had met with Vice Chancellors of 40 Federal Universities offering courses relating to Oil and Gas, so as to redirect its overseas scholarship award to local institutions.
The official said substantial number of applicants taking the 2017/2018 PTDF scholarship test would be admitted in Nigerian Universities already running courses in oil and gas related areas.
NAN reports that 4,949 shortlisted candidates sat for the examination nationwide.
The executive secretary assured that innovations had been introduced to ensure transparency and integrity of the process.
No fewer than 500 candidates with significant number of women sat for the test in Kaduna centre, under the supervision of officials of the Federal Character Commission.