The Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) has begun the distribution of 104,000 free meters allotted to the state under the Federal Government National Mass Metering Scheme.

This is as the company assures customers in its franchise of commitment to ensure the process is seamless, urging them not to fall for the gimmicks of fraudulent people under the guise of being workers of the company.

It would be recalled that in the first batch of the mass metering of customers across the country, a total of one million meters are being rolled out across the six geo-political zones.

Speaking after the meters were installed at some residents of some of the customers under the Agodi Distribution Centre, the Head, Customers Support of IBEDC, Mr Ayo Adio, warned electricity consumers against sharp practices such as bribery, lobbying or cutting corners to get the meters.

Mr Adio said such an attempt would fail, saying “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.

“We have our distribution strategy so that it would not depend on ‘man know man.’ It will be such that areas that have been designated would be metered as they are supplied. The customers that don’t have meters on the transformer would all fully be metered before we move to the next. You won’t have the opportunity of getting connected through any senior officer. It is an organised way of meeting our customers’ needs. There is nothing anybody can do to fast track it.

“This is the first batch of one million free meters. What we have for Ibadan DISCO is 104,000. As we take delivery within the next few weeks, we would 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 any customer. It will get everywhere. People just have to be patient

“The strategy that we have employed is to look at a particular area and meter all the customers that are unmetered. Our focus is on people who don’t have meters. We can meter those with faulty meters. There is no point to change analogue meters that are not faulty.”

He stated the era of paying for meters had passed adding 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 FG 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, Bodija among other areas in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital city.