Total Plc. and the Embassy of France in Nigeria have initiated a joint scholarship scheme to sponsor the training of five Nigerians abroad every year.
A statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday by Mr Charles Ebereonwu, the Manager (External Communication) of Total, said that the scheme was part of the company's efforts to contribute to the development of the country's education sector.
It noted that the Joint Scholarship Scheme ('TQJS') titled "Total E &P Nigeria Ltd. (TEPNG) /Quai d' Orsay" would take effect from the 2012/2013 academic session.
The statement, however, said that the pilot stage of the scheme had commenced this year with one candidate sponsored to study international law in France.
It stressed that the agreement for the training was signed by Mr Guy Maurice, the Managing Director of TEPNG, and Amb. Jacques Champagne de Labriolle, the French Ambassador to Nigeria.
The statement quoted de Labriolle as saying that the scheme was based on the need to contribute to the training of Nigerians in different fields, while commending Total for contributing to the development of the Nigerian society.
It also quoted Maurice as saying that the initiative was a reflection of the company's confidence in the country and a continuation of what it had been doing in the past.
"The agreement makes provision for a four-man steering committee to manage the scheme on behalf of the parties and each of the international scholarship is worth about 54,000 Euros," Maurice said in the statement.
Total has been collaborating with top-rated institutions across the world, as part of its human capacity development efforts.
It is also the main sponsor of the Institute of Petroleum Studies (IPS), a post-graduate institute at the University of Port Harcourt, managed in collaboration with the prestigious Institute France du Petrole (IFP) in France