PTDF denies excluding South East candidates

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From Fred Itua, Abuja

The management of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) has denied claims that candidates from the South East, have been excluded from the ongoing interview of candidates for the 2022 Overseas Scholarship Scheme (OSS) of the Fund for Nigerian students.

The denial was contained in a statement on Thursday, signed by Mrs Timilayefa Nwajueboe of the Press and External Relations Unit.

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The Fund noted that the caption of the said publication created the impression that candidates from the South East geopolitical zone were excluded from the ongoing interview, adding that it was wrong and therefore misleading to the public.

The statement said all the numerous candidates from the South East that were successful at the initial processes are currently participating in the interview exercise, alongside their counterparts from other parts of the country, simultaneously, adding that this can be verified from the Fund’s website.

The PTDF said at the time the issue of centres was discussed, it was the considered opinion of the management and other stakeholders, that due to the Monday sit-at-home order in the South East, candidates be given the option to choose from any of the other five zones across the country, rather than Enugu, including the option for a virtual interview, from the comfort of their homes.

The decision, PTDF said, was taken, purely to “ensure that the mobility of candidates from the zone was not affected by the sit-at-home order as they would have to move from their various states to Enugu, which usually serves as a centre for the zone in previous interviews, adding that the candidates were duly carried along before the decision was reached.”

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The statement reads: “As we have stated in all our correspondences, it was not a deliberate attempt to remove South East (Enugu) as one of our interview centres for the conduct of the 2022 Overseas Scholarship Scheme (OSS) selection interview exercise. The decision to maintain five centres which include Port-Harcourt, Abuja, Bauchi, Kaduna and Ibadan instead of six, was basically due to the “sit-at-home” that might affect the mobility of our potential scholars, as was established by the Head of OSS. Candidates were also given the choice to be interviewed virtually from anywhere.

“The candidates who indicated South-East at the time of the application process were asked to pick any convenient venue from among the five centres, which they complied with and are currently undergoing their interviews at the centre of their choice.

“We have noticed the reactions to the misleading captions in the media and wish to reassure the public that our potential scholars from the South-East are among the shortlisted candidates participating in the ongoing selection interview process.”

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