About Optometrists & Dispensing Opticians Registration Board of Nigeria
The government regulatory body for the profession of Optometry and Dispensing Optics was brought to life with the signing of Decree No 34 of 1989 by the Ibrahim Babangida administration when Prince Bola Ajibola was Attorney General/Minister of Justice and Professor Olikoye Ransome-ÂKuti; Minister of health.
Prior to the board's establishment, indeed prior to the signing of Decree No 34, the Optometry profession in Nigeria was unregulated. This is to say an all-comers affair, practiced on individual whims, perceptions and idiosyncrasies. Worse still, practiced by self-styled practitioners, all sorts of charlatans (indigenous and foreign) along side trained persons with acceptable qualifications in other lands and those trained in the Nigerian University. Under the aegis of the Nigerian Optometric Association, which has been formed since 1968 as The Association of Optical Practitioners (in Nigeria), the move to legalize the Optometry profession began, with the obvious implication for the formation of the board.
Understandably, practitioners with acceptable qualifications were concerned about the unchecked practices going on in the country, which had obvious implications for the visual health of Nigerians. Expectedly, a lot of meetings, lobbying and the like were going on especially in the late 1980s among a crux of Optometrists which ultimately culminated to the drafting and signing in to law of Decree No 34 of 1989 on the 7th December 1989.
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