History was made at the signing of formal agreement between Jacksonville University and Nigeria’s Petroleum Technology Development Fund on Thursday, March 12 at the Lobby of the Davis College of Business, Jacksonville University, 2800 University Blvd. N., making JU the first American University to teach Nigerian Students in STEM-related fields . Under the new initiative, Nigerian students will be trained in STEM-related fields to qualify as academicians, professionals and technicians.
Nigeria’s growing technical and industrial industries require home-grown talent, said Nigerian Ambassador/Consul General of Atlanta, Amb. Geoffrey Teneilabe. The country’s one hundred and twenty-eight universities are able to accommodate only about half qualified applicants. The Petroleum Technology Development Fund’s program is designed to continue Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s “Transformation Agenda” to ensure the country’s positive direction.
“We have 5,000 Nigerians studying here in the U.S., and more are coming,” he said. ““We have been producing oil and gas since 1958, but we don’t have enough local capacity to be able to sustain the industry, we need to produce manpower to move forward. Countries become leaders because of knowledge and technology, and JU is a producer of doers and thinkers. I cannot think of a better institution for this cultivation.”
The speakers and signees in attendance were; Nigerian Ambassador/Consul General of Atlanta, Amb. Geoffrey Teneilabe, Jacksonville University President Tim Cost; JU Provost, Chief Academic Officer Dr. Wenying Xu; City of Jacksonville officials, representing Femi Ajayi, Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund, Timipre Wolo, Deputy Manager of the Fund’s Industry Collaboration Unit, Salman Mo, Assistant Chief Officer of the Unit, and the first 18 Nigerian students to study at JU.
The Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) is a parastatal of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources established by Decree 25 of 1973 for the purposes of development, promotion and implementation of petroleum technology and manpower needs through research and training of Nigerians to qualify as graduates, professionals, technicians and craftsmen in the field of engineering, geology, science and management in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria or abroad.
Its objectives are to help develop indigenous manpower, acquire and transfer technology and knowledge, and make Nigeria a human resource center for the West African sub-region in these fields. The program is a continuation of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s “Transformation Agenda” for the country’s positive direction.
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