The Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the French government to sponsor 13 Nigerian students to study in France. The Acting PTDF Executive Secretary, Alhaji Ahmed Galadima, said at the signing of the MoU in Abuja that the agreement involved providing concessions for the students to undertake masters and PHD programmes in France. “It is important to mention here that part of the agreement with the French Embassy through ‘Famous France’ is offering to provide a number of concessions to 10 MSC and three PHD scholars.
“The concession include exemption from payment of registration and tuition fees, free health insurance, priority access to public student residence, free visa and scholars to have status of scholars of the French government,’’ Galadima said. He said that the fund was on strategic partnership with some other multinational universities and had signed off on one of the bilateral relationship. The PTDF scribe expressed the hope that the MoU would bring about better bilateral foundations for bigger partnership in the future for both countries. “I will like to reiterate our commitment to put the action plans in perspective and implement them. “I have a strong team with me to consolidate and handle other logistics as we move on.
“I thank you for your friendship and the zeal you have shown throughout the various engagements we have had prior to signing the MoU,’’ Galadima said. Responding, the France Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Arnand Dornon, commended the vigilance of the PTDF in ensuring a partnership to sponsor Nigerian students. “We are going to achieve a few goals with the signing of the MoU. “The first one, I believe is to confirm the PTDF mission which is okay with us. “I believe that by associating with the PTDF, we are also somehow contributing to the future of Nigeria and to the future of very few youths of an excellent academic quality.
“I will say that we have been through some auditioning of the PHD students and we are very impressed with the intelligence of the applicants,’’ Dornon said. He advised the benefitting scholars to ensure that they would come back to impart Nigeria’s oil and gas sector with their knowledge and experiences. The French envoy disclosed that France was among the first countries to host African students, adding that over 400 Nigerians were presently studying in France.