By Daniel Ayantoye
The Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) has disclosed that the pre-paid meter that was hitherto purchased for N37,000 by customers will henceforth be distributed free.
Speaking in an interview with Pilot Business on Tuesday, the Regional Communication Officer of IBEDC, Mr. Asaju Kolawole warned the public against payments for the meters, noting that it has become a criminal offence for anyone to sell it.
According to him, the company is expecting to complete the distribution of the ones already paid for by customers before the commencement of the free distribution.
“Nobody should collect money for meter to get or install it. We are going to commence the free distribution of the prepared meter as soon as we finish the distributing to those that had earlier paid for it. So it is important to tell you that it has now become a crime for anybody to sell meters.
“Contrary to the wrong notion that we don’t want to give meters, the fact that consumers don’t have meters affects us more so it is beneficial to the company that all households have it considering the level of energy loss, electricity waste and technical loss owing to lack of meters,” he added
Kolawole who said about 46 percent of customers already have the meter also disclosed that 60 percent of people using electricity are consumers and not customers.
“There is difference between a customer and a consumer. A customer is the energy user who had registered with the company and pays for the energy used while a consumer is the user who just uses energy but does not pay.
As you can see metering all houses will bring to an end the act of consuming without paying and will also bring to an end the issue of high estimate billing which is beneficial to the customers” he explained
He, however, noted that the management has invested N5 billion naira to get customers data for adequate monitoring of power distribution and customer record.
While reinstating the company’s commitment towards efficient service delivery, he enjoined the public to desist from giving cash to any IBEDC official.
He added that the company has come up with a policy to prevent staff from collecting cash from customers.
“We have a no cash policy; if you have anything to pay you go through the appropriate payment channel at our offices. If you give money without receipt you are on your own,” Kolawole warned.