Nigerian edtech learning platform, uLesson, has secured a $3.1 million seed funding from TLcom Capital in order to address infrastructure and learning gaps in Africa’s education sector. This is contained in an official press release sent to Nairametrics.
The seed round announced today allows uLesson to take the product to market in West Africa, before looking to develop educational content and a product for the East African market. Targeting secondary school learners across the West African region, uLesson will launch officially in February 2020, having been in development and beta testing for 12 months.
To date, the uLesson has produced over 3,000 richly animated, personalised video learning modules, quizzes and tests that will be available on the uLesson android app, via a subscription model, in Q1 2020.
Speaking on the investment and upcoming launch of uLesson, CEO Sim Shagaya says, “Education systems across Africa are in crisis and uLesson has been developed to radically shake-up the system and bring better access to high-quality curriculum-relevant educational content to learners across the continent. As our population grows extremely rapidly, the current public and private approach to education investment is chasing a goal that is moving further away.
We want to lower the entry point for access to education for young Africans, and technology is the only way this challenge will be met. With this in mind, today is not just an investment in uLesson – it’s an investment in Africa’s future.”
Shagaya concludes, “We work collaboratively, passionately & relentlessly, utilizing every tool available, to deliver high-quality affordable education to all Africans. Education, Financial Inclusion & Health need to be tackled on the continent. Remarkable progress in developing financial products has been made.
Of the other two, Education represents an immediate opportunity that can be addressed with the tools provided by digital technology (smartphones, wireless internet, data storage and analytics). uLesson believes it has a model that can work in substantially addressing these challenges.”
As part of the seed round, Ido Sum and Omobola Johnson, partners in TLcom’s executive team, will join the board alongside former Konga CEO, Shola Adekoya.
Speaking on the investment, Ido Sum adds, “In uLesson, we found a company that fits perfectly with our ethos – an entrepreneur-led startup building affordable, mass-market mobile-first solution tackling one of Africa’s largest challenges. In Sim, we have an entrepreneur with an unrivaled track record in building technology products for Africa. His team is building solutions for a massive opportunity, and we strongly believe they are about to make a serious dent in the education market across the continent.”
Founded by serial entrepreneur and founder of Nigeria’s Konga, Sim Shagaya, uLesson has built the technology to deploy curriculum-relevant content via smartphones that allow learners to use the product without concern for internet limitations and costs. uLesson’s mobile offering rests on three pillars: academics, media & technology and curriculum content are delivered via streaming and SD cards.
The platform allows learners to experience personalised learning, practice tests, region-specific mock tests and assessed performance and progress for students and parents, including rich reporting dashboards for detailed analysis. Tailored towards the WAEC curriculum region (Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Gambia), uLesson’s current content focuses on core subjects of Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Biology for secondary school students.
NNPC to provide free conversion services to motorists to switch from PMS to autogas
The NNPC has revealed plans to help motorists switch from Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to Autogas.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has disclosed that it is going to provide free conversion services in some selected NNPC retail filling station in the country.
This is part of the effort of the corporation aimed at assisting interested motorists to switch from Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly known as petrol to Autogas as the Federal Government rolls out an autogas programme called the National Gas Expansion Programme.
This was disclosed by the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari, on Tuesday, December 1, 2020, while delivering his address at the Presidential Virtual Rollout of the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP).
While delivering his address, Kyari pointed out that the areas of focus with existing Autogas service stations include the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, Kaduna, Kano, Kogi, Kwara, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Lagos, Edo, Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa States.
The statement from Kyari partly reads, ‘’To support this effort, NNPC is providing free conversion services in some selected NNPC retail filling stations to assist interested motorists switch from PMS to Autogas, especially in areas with existing Autogas service stations in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, Kaduna, Kano, Kogi, Kwara, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Lagos, Edo, Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa States.’’
The NNPC boss revealed that the state-owned oil corporation is expanding this initiative to all NNPC retail filling stations across the country, while also assuring motorists of steady availability of Autogas at competitive prices.
He also said that NNPC is expanding its natural gas footprint across the country in order to support industrialization and job creation through its various ongoing gas infrastructure projects which includes Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben (OB3) gas pipeline project connecting East and West.
Others are Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS 11 which is expected to boost supply to the western corridor and the AKK gas pipeline that will supply gas to Abuja, Kaduna and Kano states.
What you should know
- President Muhammadu Buhari today performed the virtual rollout of autogas programme called the National Gas Expansion Programme. The programme, which involves the conversion of fuel-powered cars, generators from petrol to gas, is aimed at deepening domestic usage of natural gas in its various forms.
- The programme is also in line with the Federal Government’s plan to make gas the first choice source of cheaper and cleaner energy. This follows the deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry with sharp increases in prices of petrol.
GMD @NNPCgroup: "To support this effort, NNPC is providing free conversion services in some selected NNPC Retail Filling Stations to assist interested motorists switch from PMS to Autogas…#NGEP #NigeriaGoGas #YearOfGas
— NNPC Group (@NNPCgroup) December 1, 2020
Just-in: Senate confirms 6 NERC commissioners, drops Chairman-nominee
Six nominees for the board of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) have been confirmed as commissioners.
The Nigerian Senate has confirmed the nomination of six members for the board of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) as commissioners.
The legislators also dropped, Prof. Akintunde Akinwande, the nominee for the Chairman position due to his absence from the screening.
This was disclosed by the senate committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy on Tuesday.
The confirmed nominees are Sanusi Garba (North-West) as vice-chairman; with Nathan Rogers Shatti (North-East), Moses Arigu (North-Central), Dafe Akpedeye (South-South), Frank Okafor (South-East) and Musiliu Oseni (South-West).
The committee recommended that President Muhammadu Buhari present another nominee to replace Akinwande.
Details soon …
COVID-19: NCDC issues travel advisory for the yuletide season
The NCDC has issued a public health advisory to the general public as they prepare for the festive season.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has issued a public health advisory to all members of the public to exercise caution as they celebrate the upcoming festivities – Christmas and New year.
The Commission said that it is fully aware that the yuletide season affords a number of people an opportunity to celebrate with their families and friends and as well for people to travel to visit their loved ones or attend events, but cautioned that everyone has to make necessary adjustments in social interactions in line with the reality of the pandemic to limit the spread of Covid-19.
According to the commission, “Since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Nigeria, just over 67,000 Covid-19 cases have been reported with just over 1,000 deaths. Most of the confirmed cases and deaths have been in urban/semi-urban cities and towns and the risk of spread remains.
“The Covid-19 virus does not spread on its own, it spreads when people move around. This means that by traveling across countries and cities, there is a higher risk of transmission, especially to rural areas where the existing health infrastructure is already weak.”
Key highlights of the advisory
- Limit all non-essential domestic and international travels.
- As an alternative to traveling, you could still remain socially connected with friends and loved ones using mobile or video conferencing technology.
- Hold virtual services and prayer sessions to limit the mass congregation.
- Observe appropriate social distancing protocols and personal hygiene in all public places and events, washing of hands frequently with soap and water or using a hand sanitizer when hands are not visibly dirty and running water is not readily available.
Why this matters
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has continued to rise across several countries globally. Nigeria is not an exception, with the recent spike recorded in the number of confirmed cases in some major cities.
In the first wave of infections, the economy was paralyzed with lockdowns that lasted for months, and the country cannot afford a second wave which could be more catastrophic.