Electricity company begins distribution of free meters in Ibadan
By Olubunmi Osoteku, Ibadan
The Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company IBEDC, has commenced the distribution of 104,000 free meters allotted to Oyo State, under the Federal Government National Mass Metering Scheme.
In the same vein, the Company assured customers in its franchise of commitment to ensuring that the process is seamless, urging the customers not to fall for the gimmicks of fraudulent people, under the guise of being workers of the IBEDC.
This is the first batch of the mass metering of customers across the country in which a total of one million meters are being rolled out across the six geo-political zones of the country.
Speaking after the meters were installed at residences of some of the customers under the Agodi Distribution Centre, the Head, Customer Support of IBEDC, Mr Ayo Adio, warned electricity consumers of sharp practices such as bribery, lobbying or cutting corners to get the meters.
“We are here to launch the National Mass Metering for the Federal Government. These are free meters so customers are not paying for it. The essence is to discourage estimated billing that a lot of customers have been complaining about. We believe that within a few weeks, most of the customers that are designated for meters would have it installed in their premises”, he said.
Elimination of favouritism
Adio explained that the Company had its distribution strategy which would eliminate favouritism, such that areas that had been designated would be metered as they are supplied, noting that customers that do not have meters on the transformer would all fully be metered before moving on to the next.
He noted that no customer would have the opportunity of getting connected or fast track the distribution through any senior officer in the company because it is an un-organised way of meeting customers’ needs.
“This is the first batch of one million free meters. What we have for Ibadan DISCO is 104,000 meters. As we take the delivery within the next few weeks, we will distribute to our customers. Under this system, it is not possible for any of our staff to be mischievous because we are going to keep track as we meter every customer. It will get everywhere. People just have to be patient”, he said.
He disclosed that the strategy employed by the IBEDC is to look at a particular area and meter all the customers that are unmetered and those whose meters are faulty, without having to change analogue meters that are not faulty, stating that the era of paying for meters had passed and that those who had paid but were yet to be metered would be refunded through the conversion of their money to units.
Some customers of the Company, who benefitted from the gesture, commended the Federal Government and the Distribution Company, noting that the gesture is a huge relief from estimated billings.
Areas where the free distribution took place to launch the initiative include, Ikolaba, Agodi and Bodija, among other areas in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.