Educated at the Church Missionary School, Wusasa from 1922 to 1929 before going to King’s College, Lagos. He went on to the University of Birmingham for medical studies and passed the exams of the London Conjoint Medical Board, which made him the first man of the north with a licence to practise medicine.
In January 1940, he was appointed a junior medical officer, rising to Principal Medical Officer in the North in the Endemic Diseases Division. In 1962 he became a Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, a position he held until his appointment as Federal Commissioner for Health and Member of the Federal Military Council in June 1967. He became Commissioner for Mines and Power later that month and, in October 1971, Commissioner for Transport, where he has an important task in re-building Nigeria’s ramshackle road and railway systems.
The first northerner in Nigeria to qualify as a doctor, his life’s experience has been in the medical services of his Northern Region and later the Federation. He was a Permanent Secretary throughout the sixties, when selected by General Gowon as Commissioner for Health. A quiet, capable, elder states-man, his advice has been important in the Executive Council. His overall administrative abilities have been recognised by his appointment to ministries outside the health field.