The Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) hosted the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) German Academic Exchange Service, who are the Fund’s German partners responsible for managing the Fund’s German bound students, as part of its efforts to strengthen and boost its Overseas Scholarship Scheme. The visit was necessary for both parties to renew their existing partnership agreement and also look at areas to further improve their collaborations.

The leader of the delegation and Head, Scholarship Programmes, Africa, DAAD, Mrs. Gudrun Chazotte, informed PTDF that the essence of the meeting is to see ways of improving the relationship that exists between the PTDF and DAAD. We are so happy engaging for another contract initiative, and we hope that we can have some fruitful discussions and learn from what we’ve done so far and know where we could improve on from my perspective and the perspective of the DAAD”. She described the PTDF as one of the organisation’s important partners in Nigeria and by extension, Africa. “You all know the importance of having a Nigerian partner for the African continent.  So, it’s quite important to us to be with you”

Mrs Chazotte further emphasized that the collaboration between the PTDF and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) will allow young Nigerians who benefited from the programme to return to Nigeria after their programme and contribute their quota to the nation’s growth. Our wish is to give more opportunities and wealth of competencies and experiences to young Nigerians who come to Germany for learning and to have them come back to Nigeria after the programme and help in building this beautiful country”

The Executive Secretary, PTDF, Dr Bello Aliyu Gusau, in his welcome address described the Fund’s partnership with the DAAD, Germany as one of the best partnerships the Fund has experienced. The Executive Secretary disclosed that the Fund is looking forward to ways of expanding the programme. “We had previously requested that our training department find a way of expanding this programme because of the result and the kind of outcome we have been seeing in the last few years we started running the programme”. Dr Gusau appreciated the guests and assured them that the Fund is ever ready to continue with the partnership.  He also said that the Fund is hoping to make the programme one of its major scholarship programmes ever instituted. “We would be looking forward to having you back again as soon as possible.  I once again assure you that we would do everything possible to sustain this programme” He affirmed.

In his contribution, the PTDF Programme Advisor, DAAD, Professor Ayodele Ajayi reiterated the need for the partnership to follow the trend of the moment which is green energy. Professor Ajayi stressed the need for the PTDF to join the new trend in order to avoid being caught off guard in the emerging energy mix globally. Green hydrogen, he says, is the future in the energy sector.While we are trying to develop the capacity of the petroleum sector, we should also be part of the future and be involved with what is happening in the energy sector, and I know green hydrogen is a major issue in the minds of the German Government. So, building on the strength of our existing relationship with the DAAD, we may find some partners and discuss how to enhance Nigeria’s potential in that area, because it will be disastrous if we get to the future and we don’t have any capacity in green energy.”

In her response to the request, the Programme Advisor, Mrs Chazotte, promised to take the request up with the DAAD Project Department to see the possibility of applying for funding from the ministry in charge.

The German Academic Exchange Programme (DAAD) is one of the PTDF Strategic Partnerships established to improve the Funds’ Overseas Scholarship Scheme by providing candidates with access to a diverse pool of knowledge and facilities provided by world-class universities across the globe. The tuition-free partnership programme requires the PTDF to provide air tickets, and allowances to cover the scholars’ accommodation and living expenses.