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Nigerian Students under the scholarship scheme of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) are to study on free tuition at the University of Sao Paulo, Butanta in Brazil, beginning from September.
This is contained in a statement signed by Mr Kalu Otisi, PTDF Head, Media and Public Relations on Thursday in Abuja.
The statement said the development was part of a new initiative of the fund under its overseas scholarship programme.
“As from September 2016, PTDF will start sending Nigerian scholars to the University on free tuition arrangement.
“ This development is historic and a great milestone achievement for the fund,’’ it said.
According to the statement, the signing of the agreement between the two countries marks the formalisation of relationship between PTDF and one of the outstanding universities in Brazil.
It added that it would be the first time PTDF would be sending Nigerian students overseas to study oil and gas related courses on free tuition.
“So, we are highly excited with the collaboration. We believe that this is going to be the beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship between PTDF and the University of Sao Paulo and between Nigeria and Brazil,” it added.
The statement quoted the Dean of the institution, Prof. José Roberto Castilho Piqueira, as saying that the agreement sign-posts the commencement of an enduring relationship between the two institutions.
Castilho Piqueira added that the partnership through PTDF would help to achieve technological independence.
“We are very committed to starting a new international collaboration.
“It is important to have a country like Nigeria as our partner because for us, it is very important to have technological independence for countries like Nigeria and Brazil.
“So, it is a pleasure to receive your students here and we are going to do our best in our graduate programme for the students.
“We hope that this relationship will survive for years in order to sustain the collaboration between us,’’ said Castilho Piqueira
Also, the Consul-General, Consulate of Nigeria in Brazil, Muntari Kaita said the partnership would re-enforce the long relationship between the two countries.
Kaita said that the renewed partnership would also open a new vista of opportunity for transfer of knowledge and technology.
“The relationship between Nigeria and Brazil has been on for a very long time. We have lots of Nigerians that passed through the University of Sao Paulo.
“Today they have settled here and are contributing their own part. But this new agreement between PTDF and USP will open a new vista of opportunity for us.
“We have seen in Brazil a lot of things that we envy and we want to have them in Nigeria.
“And since you are willing to transfer such knowledge and technology to us, it is a thing of pride,’’ Kaita said.
Under the partnership, every research area that will be conducted by Nigerian scholars in the university will be toward solving problems of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.