A Liberian student, Philip B. Samuels, has graduated from the African University of Science and Technology (AUST) in Abuja, Nigeria, with a Master of Science (M.SC) degree in Petroleum Engineering.
Mr. Samuels, the first Liberian to attend the AUST since its establishment in 2007, was among sixty four other Africans who received graduate degrees in various scientific disciplines from the University at its fourth Commencement Convocation on Saturday, May 4, 2013.
In an interview following his graduation, Mr. Samuels described the AUST as an institution with a quality education system, noting that it brings on board lecturers from across the world and provides students with a wide range of perspectives in their various disciplines.
The Liberian Petroleum Engineer who worked at the General Auditing Commission prior to enrolling at the AUST would like to contribute to the emerging oil and gas industry in Liberia to benefit the citizens.
He believes when the necessary policies and programs are put in place to guide the current exploration and future export of oil and gas in Liberia, the lives of Liberians will immensely improve. “The oil and gas industry has been seen as more of a curse than blessing in Africa, so having learnt from other nations such as Nigeria, Angola and Sudan, Liberia should be able to put herself in the position to right the wrongs of those nations so that we can benefit from our resources,” Mr. Samuels said.
Urging other Liberians to take advantage of the courses being offered at the AUST, Mr. Samuels said he applied to the university and was admitted following a rigorous and competitive recruitment process.
With tuition and other costs for a full graduate program at 15,000 USD per annum, the AUST offers either full or partial competitive scholarships funded by the Department for Technical Cooperation in Africa, the Nelson Mandela Institute, the World Bank and the African Development Bank, among others.
Meanwhile Liberia’s Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Dr. Al-Hassan Conteh, who attended Mr. Samuel’s graduation ceremony, congratulated him on his achievement and urged him to return home to contribute his knowledge to the emerging oil and gas sector of Liberia.
Receiving Mr. Samuels at the Chancery of the Embassy of Liberia after the ceremony, Ambassador Conteh hailed him for a job well done and said that the country was proud of him. “Liberia needs technicians in the emerging oil and gas sector congratulations for a job well done and disciplining yourself while studying, we are proud of you and wish you all the best,” Ambassador Conteh concluded.
Founded during the tenure of former President Olusegun Obasanjo and established by the Nelson Mandela Institution in 2007, the AUST is a private, pan-African, coeducational, research university. Its mission is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve Africa in the 21st Century.
The University is located on a-fifty hectare campus located near Abuja, Nigeria. It has well equipped lecture halls, science laboratories, boarding facilities, and a good atmosphere for learning.
The University is currently collaborating with the Government of Liberia in developing graduate training and middle level certificate programs in the fields of Science, Technology and Innovation.