Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF, has announced its plans to build two units of analytical laboratories to enhance oil and gas research in the country.
Acting Executive Secretary, PTDF, Ahmed Galadima Aminu disclosed this at the National Board of Trustees, NBT, meeting on Endowment Fund in Abuja said the project will cost about N1.0 billion.
According to him, the laboratories would help reduce the huge amount of money being spent on research analysis outside the country.
He stated: “The Fund has adopted a new strategic plan that would drive efficiency in our approach to research and development through the establishment of two standard world-class analytical laboratories in the country.
“The analytical laboratories are critically needed for sample analysis and at the same time curb capital flight as well as save time of obtaining results instead of taking samples overseas for analysis,”
Aminu said that the National Board of Trustees of the PTDF Endowment Programme was born out of the strong need for PTDF to develop indigenous manpower and technology through the effective engagement of local researchers in Nigerian institutions.
Continuing he stated: “the concept of Endowment Fund and institution of Professorial Chairs in selected Departments in Federal Universities started in 1997. A memo to the Federal Executive Council, FEC, received Presidential approval in 2001.
“PTDF immediately implemented the presidential approval with the inauguration of the NBT on the 15th August, 2002 by the then Presidential Adviser on Petroleum and Energy, Dr. Rilwan Lukman.
“The NBT is the highest policy making organ of the Fund vested with the authority to manage PTDF Endowment Fund.”
According to him, the major prerequisite for the Endowment Fund is the execution of Trust Deeds between the Fund and the Universities.
The Deed states the conditions for which the Endowment was established and the specific purpose and course the Professorial Chair was to cover.
The sum of N10 million was the initial seed money deposited to meet the financial obligations of the Chairs. This was eventually increased to N60 million and later to N1billion.
Following the Government directive on the Treasury Single Account, the total sum of N1, 002, 287, 861.91 (One Billion and Two Million Two Hundred and Eighty Seven Thousand, Eight Hundred and Sixty One Naira and Ninety One Kobo only) was transferred to the PTDF Account with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
He said, the Chairs were to be founded from the proceeds of the invested seed monies, adding that the Endowment Management Committee, EMC, was constituted to supervise the activities of the Chair occupants in order to achieve set goals of the specific research areas.
Aminu who informed that a chair occupant is to serve for a tenure of three years, however, said there is an extension of additional two years based on performance including evidence of capacity building, research innovations and inventions, and work plan.