ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Dr. (Sir) Benjamin Anyene, 68 years old , born on June 8, 1951 and passed away on December 29, 2019. We will remember him forever.
Posted by Uche Anyanwagu on February 24, 2020
I sadly learnt of the death of Dr Anyene on a post on LinkedIn by a friend.

I recall meeting him in 2018 on a BA flight to London. He was heading to US. We sat on the same row. We exchanged pleasantries and talked all through the journey.

Once he realised I was also a medical doctor with a PhD in Epidemiology, our bond grew stronger. Instantly, he became a father as well to me.

I learnt from him, and later read in many quarters, of his great works in the Nigerian health sector - health advocacy, Nigerian health bill, and many more. We promised to keep in touch. I did for the period he was in US but we somewhere lost contact till now.

Please accept my deepest condolences. Dr Anyene was a great man - humble, friendly, warm, and welcoming. I will ever cherish our meeting and I pray GOD grants him the eternal rest he deserves.

As a family, May we all take heart and take solace that Dr Anyene was a good father who inspired many while he was here.

May his loving soul rest in peace.

Uche Anyanwagu MD, PhD
Posted by Godwin Aja on February 22, 2020
Dr. Ben Anyene was a friend. His contributions to health systems strengthening in Nigeria cannot be forgotten. As Chairman of HERFON BOT, he mobilized many professionals to support his vision. While we surely miss him, his legacy lives on.

May the Holy Spirit comfort his family!

Prof. Godwin Aja
Babcock University
Posted by Adelyne Udensi on February 20, 2020
The Doc, it was a rude shock to me when I heard it this morning . We at Pan Ndi Igbo Foundation shall miss you and your wise counsel greatly. A Foundation/legacy you tried so much to build for our young generation.
Ben,it is difficult to believe we wont see again here on this earth, but I am sure that we shall not miss heaven, where we shall meet to part no more. Adieu Ben (THE DOC)
Sleep On brother!!
Rest In The Bossom Of The Lord.
Posted by George Alexander on February 16, 2020
Arthors Ibe Technical Investment Ltd,,
We supplied battery to you Daddy,, but we could not supply life,,
The one who gives life loves you more and chose you to be with him at this time,,
Chigbo George
Posted by Nwankwo Chinedu on February 14, 2020
Uncle Anyene As I always Call You.
Just like a dream you are no more. I received the news with deep shock and heavy heart. You affected persons of different ages and changed so many lives for good. Your mentorship is equal to none. You shared so many experiences with me while mentoring me Sir. You are indeed an experience and a super hero to mankind. We had a discussion in may 2019, and I was waiting to see you in December 2019 to update you on the progress of the advice as usual, little did I know that the dark days were close. Your Exit was really abrupt. The Mighty has indeed fallen. We can't question God, but take Solace in God alone. May God grant you eternal rest in his Bosom. Rest in peace Dr Anyene, Rest well Omuta Ozi, Rest well Uncle Chukwudum.
Posted by Emezie Nwangene on February 14, 2020
Omuta Ozi !
Ur death was a rude shock to many who knew you.Never a time I visited you ,you will not say " Emerie my son" Keep pushing God will bless your efforts. Who are we to question the authority of the Almighty?

Its hard to say good bye Doc.Adieu
Posted by Ola Raheem on February 14, 2020
Adieu Dr BCN Anyene

OMG! Didn't here of Dr. Ben Anyene's demise since December 2019.

I had a rare opportunity to work with, and benefitted from the expertise of Dr. Ben Anyene as the Vice-Chairman to the Technical Committee for the production of the Patients' Bill of Rights (PBoR) which he eminently Chaired. The PBoR was the initiative of Mr. Babatunde Irukera, the DG/CEO of the Federal Competition & Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), Nigeria.

Wow! Dr. Anyene certainly lived a life & bequeathed legacies worthy of a medical giant that he was & impacted lives cutting across the various strata of the society!

May his Creator be pleased with his soul even as I prayerfully condole the family for the fortitude to bear his irreparable loss. Amen.
Adieu Doc Ben!

Ola Raheem
Director, Planning Research & Strategy
FCCPC, Maitama, Abuja FCT
14th February 2020
Posted by Bolaji Akerele on February 14, 2020


TRIBUTE TO LATE DR BENJAMIN CHUKWUDUM NNAMDI ANYENE, 8 JUNE 1951 TO 29 DECEMBER 2019

Benjamin Anyene enrolled at the College of Medicine University of Lagos (CMUL) in October 1975 by direct entry with a Bachelor's degree earned from the USA. A polite, amiable and unassuming character, Ben as he was popularly known, combined his academic pursuit with students' politics and social activities.

In 1978, he vied for the position of the President of the Medical Students' Association and won in a keenly contested election. He ran the office successfully as a team player and a good leader.
Ben was a member of the prestigious Zee Club and participated actively in her activities.

His circle of friends at CMUL included Mike Ileka, Emeka Oguike, Uche Iheme, Onwuanyi, Major Onwukwe, Bolere Ketebu and Jayne Mberekpe. Ben was exceptional in the group as he was more or less the group's adviser/mentor, he was a naturally born peacemaker/leader.

Ben's leadership qualities continued after graduation from the Medical School in 1980. Post-NYSC, he established a clinic, MEDICS Clinic, at Apapa and he was the first Zonal Chairman of the Association of General Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria of that zone.

Ben served as the Commissioner for Health in Anambra State and at various times ran an NGO focused on access to health services and improved health care.

In November 2019, as soon as Ben learnt about contributions towards the final burial rites of one of our colleagues, he sent his donation promptly not knowing that the same fate awaited him shortly.

Ben we loved you, but your Creator Loves you more. May your friendly and gentle soul find rest in the Lord. May God's continued protection abide with your family.

Adieu Benjamin Chukwudum Nnamdi Anyene, 8th June 1951 to 29th December 2019, a great advocate of good health for Nigerians.

Members of the 75-80 Set
College of Medicine, University of Lagos
Posted by Obiageli Caroline on February 11, 2020
On behalf of the family of Sir Shedrack A and Lady Obiageli Carol Udoye, we Sympathize with the family of late Sir (Dr) Ben Anyene's family on the demise of Their Husband, Father, and Brother... Please Accept our heartfelt condolences.
                        
                          Sir S.A Udoye.
Posted by Ogonna Okoli Ogonna on February 9, 2020
Oh well,'Omutaozi' the moments we shared as political allies of same ideology for Orumba North are memories that can't easily be deleted. I learnt a lot from you during our campaign tours in 2007.Lots more to learn from you but Alas. Farewell dear friend,ally and brother.
Heartfelt condolences to Ochiliozuo and members of your family
Posted by Dimonyeka Mark on February 8, 2020
Your death came as a shock to me, just like a father to me I will solely miss your advice and encouraging words. DR. BEN ANYENE may your gentle soul rest in peace till we meet to part no more. #YOU WERE A GOOD MAN
Posted by Ify Otaluka Onukwugha on February 8, 2020
Revelation 21:4

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.
Dr Anyene, you will be sorely missed.
My sincere condolences to your family.
Posted by Udoka Ene on February 7, 2020
A gentle man to the core! Dr Ben Anyene , May your soul rest in peace. I pray for God’s comfort for all your loved ones.
Posted by Moji Makanjuola on February 1, 2020
        Dr Benjamin: A Reporter's Delight 
Dr Benjamin had a larger than life character; he was a health system advocate who went beyond the call of duty,especially during the turbulent times of the Anti-Polio Vaccines.
He was a Reporter's Delight whose ultimate goal was to get results to improve health care delivery in Nigeria. He had the most unassuming personality.
Dr Benjamin was a true Nigerian devoid of any Nepotism and he had a staunch can-do spirit that only few Nigerians' possess, as he ardently believed that the Health Sector in Nigeria can be better.
Indeed we have lost a rare gem in the Health sector, a great professional and advocate.
May his soul rest in perfect peace                                                                    Moji Makanjola
Posted by Sir Steve Ezendiokwere on January 30, 2020
Eulogy to Late Sir Dr. Rotn. Ben Anyene

Rotn. Dr. Ben, like he was popularly known and called by our club members, was a Rotarian of note. A quintessential man, known to be unique in his approach to matters that impact the less privileged persons and humanity. He had a large heart, very accommodating and inspirational to many. Always was in the forefront to play his part when issues that bother on positively touching the lives of less privileged and needy persons in our society were in the front burner and in the club agenda. He was never found wanting, he truly inspired many through his persuasive ways of speech and openness demonstrated, including this writer.

Rotn. Dr. Ben Anyene was a founding member, past president and for many years, member, board of directors, Rotary Club of Tincan Island, Rotary International District 9110. The club will surely miss his wise counsels. Together with his cofounding members of RC of Tincan Island, they truly got together serving humanity as in destiny of Rotary recognizing that Real happiness is Helping Others.

As a Noble Knight of St Christopher (KSC) and God fearing, he exemplified compassion and humility. No wonder he was so honoured. Sir Ben was a philanthropist, always willing to lend a helping hand, indeed a distinguished personality. We pray God to grant his soul eternal rest in His kingdom. God only knows why He chose to recall him home at this time.

On behalf of myself and family, I encourage his wife to please take heart, including his children and other close family members. May the Almighty God give you the courage, strength and fortitude to bear this great loss.

Rest in Peace Sir Dr. Rotn. Ben Anyene.
You were indeed a great man.

Signed
Sir Rotn. Stephen Ezendiokwere PHF
Posted by Emmanuel Onuaguluchi on January 28, 2020
A man of high reputation and integrity
A body of intellectual bones and incorruptible
I had the privilege to have met this icon and humble soul

I will surely miss our argument on the way to save Nigeria and their healthcare
So long buddy and God speed to the entire family

Emmanuel Onuaguluchi. Esq,.

Posted by Jenny Anya on January 27, 2020
Public Health in Nigeria will miss you... Rest on Generallismo of Health Reform in Nigeria!!
Posted by Francis Ohanyido on January 23, 2020
Ben: A Tribute to My Mentor, Brother and Friend


“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.”
― Shannon Alder

You looked Death in the eyes and spoke truth to him and glided into the bright light. It is not an end, but new beginnings and for me, it would never be the same again without your guidance.  I never knew anyone who had such a total depth of thought like you did, an attribute that deeply impressed me from that first day we had met in 2004 and you taught me by example that how we live influences how we die. So true! You lived a life of courage, deep reflection and frankness ‘speaking truth to power’, as you were wont to say.

When on the 30th December 2019, I heard that you had passed on barely a day earlier, it was the first day I had found myself soliloquizing about the essence of life and how transient it seems for the realization had dawned on me that I lost one of the most important persons in my professional and personal spheres of my life… gone forever. I recalled that we had chatted on WhatsApp on the 22nd of December about whether you could make the harvest and thanksgiving event in my village which I had invited you. You had responded that you were in the US, so could not make it and wished us well. It is almost unbelievable that a week cut us off.

It was like yesterday 16 years ago when we had met for the first time at Garki NPHCDA’s office and you had said in that your calm tone of voice as I had made to pass you, “You must be Ohanyido. .. Did you not work with the Senate Committee on Health?”. I did not know who you were then, but you had a sartorial elegance that I could not miss and you were also one of the few people that called me with my surname till your death. Before I could answer in the affirmative, you must have sensed that you were right and simply added, “My name is Ben Anyene. Young man, come here we need to talk”. It was the command of a general, I thought and I instinctively knew that it was a conversation that I could not avoid. It was a conversation that grew and took life in the sixteen years that I had known you. It was the heady days of health sector reforms, the birthing of Health Reform Foundation (HERFON) and primary health care reengineering. I had spent two hours listening to you and occasionally asking questions. You had in your usual simplicity and frankness, sold to me the vision that a better health system was possible in Nigeria, if only we could do the right things. You also got me involved in the National Health Act when it was a Bill that was several times almost a stillborn which we had battled until it was birthed in 2014. The watershed was in December 2012 when we had a major consultation now referred to as the Obudu Retreat which you chaired, this was subsequent on the blow of no assent by President Jonathan in 2011. You never ever lost hope!

I must confess that before I had met you, I had found myself at the global health crossroad where I needed to pick my fight. I had been eyeing epidemiology, but I suspect that I had unconsciously started looking at health system strengthening domain differently as a possible destination for me that I could explore. Such was the power of persuasion and conviction that you had. Although we were originally brought together by fate, I was able to learn from your health system viewpoints and your wealth of knowledge which gave me a fundamental base for appreciating Nigeria’s health system. I was privileged and honoured to have known a great colossus like you who belong in a special category of your own as an exceptional inspiration to so many people. It is a great lesson for me to endeavour to become the best of myself in all ways.

You had great humour. I still recall that every time I worked on an international job and we had the opportunity to speak on phone, you would simply ask, “Ohanyido, I hope you have not abandoned our health system? You know it needs all the good hands to get it on track.” On one particular occasion after a stint with the World Health Organisation at the Congo regional office for Africa, I had returned to Nigeria and you had these piles of policy-related work waiting for me at your HERFON office. “You need to get busy here. We don’t want you running off again to fix other countries”, you had quipped with a straight face. I loved your unique sense of humour.
You were tough but at the same time, kind and encouraging, but I was devastated when your younger brother Onyeka and his family died in that ill-fated Dana air crash in June, 2012. That was when I finally saw the vulnerable side of your amazing personality. Many of us in the coalition were happy to see you push back the heartbreaking event to continue exhibiting that quintessential tenacity of yours that helped hold the coalition together till the National Health Act became a reality in 2014. We all shared in your painful loss and also celebrated the triumph of the passage of the Act two years later. These events further deepened my understanding of your closeness to God…  
   
I am saddened that I will not be able to shake your hand as I officially step into the role of the Vice-Chair of the White Ribbon Alliance Nigeria, which is one of your big shoes as my immediate predecessor that I will have to step into…I can imagine your voice saying “Ohanyido, face the work and not the shoes” in a typical Ben fashion. Just to also let you know that the Strategic Advisory Board of the West African Academy of Public Health (WAAPH) which you are a member and Fellow of the Academy will miss you greatly for your guidance and quiet wisdom.
 
Rest in Peace Sir, I promise to keep on fighting the good fight for a better health system and the sustainable development goals. I am eternally grateful to God and you Dr Benjamin CN Anyene for having allowed me to be part of your wonderful life.

Ohanyido 
 
(Dr Francis Ohanyido, President, West African Academy of Public Health)
Posted by Onyeka Ojogwu on January 23, 2020
I only met Dr. Anyene twice. The first was to interview him for a study on the challenges with the health sector and the second, to inform him of the results of the study. Both of these encounters left a lasting impression on me and i wished both times that i had the opportunity to interact more with him because he had a wealth of knowledge about the problems with the health sector and strong recommendations on how those challenges could be addressed. We have indeed lost a treasure. May his gentle soul rest peacefully with the Lord.
Posted by Laz Eze on January 23, 2020
Dr. Ben Anyaene is one man I wished he would live forever. I heard about him for the first time in 2011 when I got involved the advocacy for the passage of the National Health Act but only got to meet him 5 years later. I was privileged to have interacted closely with him during our advocacy for sustainable immunisation financing while he was the Chairman of the National Immunisation Financing Task Team (NIFT). As the Chair of the Health Sector Reform Coalition, he led with passion, humility, sincerity, patriotism and unrivaled dedication. He's well known by everyone as one who spoke truth to power.

Dr. Ben was an encyclopedia of health policy development in Nigeria. He inspired me to document the development of some health policies in Nigeria. A couple of months before his shocking demise, we had a planning meeting and he shared lots of historic perspectives. I was to share a concept note with him but deferred it to this January due to an extreme busy work schedule. Unfortunately for me, he is not here to review the note.

I have interacted with Dr. Ben for only 4 years but it looked like 40 years. I received the news of his death with deep sense of sadness. I recall our last conversation and what I stand to miss from the absence of this great father and mentor per excellence. AN iroko has fallen. An ijele has left the commuity of masquerades.

I can only imagine how much the immediate family will miss this great man. My thoughts and prayers are with his beloved wife, Nnamdi and the rest of his children. You husband/dad was a rare asset who added so much value to the global health development. May his soul continue resting and smiling as he sits on the right hand of God.
Posted by Aminu Yakubu on January 23, 2020
I have known Dr Anyene since the early days of the Health Sector Reform Initiative, when I was a younger staff at the Federal Ministry of Health. He was a wealth of experience and a mentor to easily learn from and grow with his support. His gentle, but purposeful and evidence-driven policy advisories were always insightful and I always looked forward to his contributions at health sector dialogues. To his family - rejoice in the knowledge that Dr Anyene lived a life full of legacy. He will be missed beyond measure.
Posted by Andrew Mckenzie on January 23, 2020
I have so many memories of Ben. Working with him on the change agent programme, PATHS and PRRINN-MNCH. He had a wonderful sense of humour and was an ethical, honest man, unfailingly polite but never afraid to take up a challenge and talk truth to power. Ben, you will be missed. Go well, my friend
Posted by Obinna Ebirim on January 22, 2020
Dr Ben Anyene was my Public health grand mentor. I call him a grand mentor because he was a mentor to my mentor while being my mentor. I learnt a lot about advocacy and stakeholder engagement from him. He was accessible at all times and available to lead at most national health CSO events. Dr Anyene will be remembered as one of those who drafted the Nigeria National Health Law (NHA 2014) and one of those who led the advocacy for Sustainable Immunization financing, which resulted in the extension of Gavi’s funding support for immunisation in Nigeria. This is in addition to his achievement as a past Health Commissioner in Anambra State. The Nigerian Health Sector has lost a rare gem and Dr Ben will be greatly missed. As his young mentees, I will work hard to build on the foundation he led in the health sector. 
Posted by Ify Otaluka Onukwugha on January 16, 2020
Revelation 21:4

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.

Amen 

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Uche Anyanwagu on February 24, 2020
I sadly learnt of the death of Dr Anyene on a post on LinkedIn by a friend.

I recall meeting him in 2018 on a BA flight to London. He was heading to US. We sat on the same row. We exchanged pleasantries and talked all through the journey.

Once he realised I was also a medical doctor with a PhD in Epidemiology, our bond grew stronger. Instantly, he became a father as well to me.

I learnt from him, and later read in many quarters, of his great works in the Nigerian health sector - health advocacy, Nigerian health bill, and many more. We promised to keep in touch. I did for the period he was in US but we somewhere lost contact till now.

Please accept my deepest condolences. Dr Anyene was a great man - humble, friendly, warm, and welcoming. I will ever cherish our meeting and I pray GOD grants him the eternal rest he deserves.

As a family, May we all take heart and take solace that Dr Anyene was a good father who inspired many while he was here.

May his loving soul rest in peace.

Uche Anyanwagu MD, PhD
Posted by Godwin Aja on February 22, 2020
Dr. Ben Anyene was a friend. His contributions to health systems strengthening in Nigeria cannot be forgotten. As Chairman of HERFON BOT, he mobilized many professionals to support his vision. While we surely miss him, his legacy lives on.

May the Holy Spirit comfort his family!

Prof. Godwin Aja
Babcock University
Posted by Adelyne Udensi on February 20, 2020
The Doc, it was a rude shock to me when I heard it this morning . We at Pan Ndi Igbo Foundation shall miss you and your wise counsel greatly. A Foundation/legacy you tried so much to build for our young generation.
Ben,it is difficult to believe we wont see again here on this earth, but I am sure that we shall not miss heaven, where we shall meet to part no more. Adieu Ben (THE DOC)
Sleep On brother!!
Rest In The Bossom Of The Lord.
his Life

Abridged Biography of Dr (Sir) Benjamin Chukwudum Nnamdi Anyene

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up" (Galatians 6:9)

Galatians 6:9, one of his favourite Bible verses aptly describes Dr. Ben, as he was fondly called. Though he left memorable footprints whilst holding various leadership positions and making invaluable contributions to the health, political, sports, religious and financial spheres, amongst others, he remained a selfless and humble man. He was once a practising medical doctor with a private hospital of his own, and a Commissioner for Health in Anambra State, spending the latter part of his life as a public health reform practitioner and activist. For years, he was the board Chairman of the Health Reform Organisation of Nigeria (HERFON), amongst many other establishments. He played major roles in the revitalisation of Primary Healthcare in Nigeria, enactment of the National Health Act 2014, production of the Nigeria Patients’ Bill of Rights and the drafting of the National Immunisation Trust Fund Bill. His profession as a Medical Doctor, and his roles in the health sector were very fulfilling for him, as they provided him with opportunities to do what he loved doing, helping humanity.

Born in present day Imo State on Friday 8 June 1951, Dr. Benjamin Chukwudum Nnamdi Anyene was the second child and first son of his parents, Mr. Benjamin Ferguson Chukwuka Anyene and Madam Mercy Chinwe Anyene (née Nwajagu), who had a total of ten children. As a child whose father was a catechist, religion played an important role in his upbringing. At a point in his childhood, he was a cross bearer in church. He was a very intelligent and active child, well liked amongst his peers and popular with the adults. His secondary school education was at CMS Grammar School, Lagos and Oraukwu Grammar School, Anambra. He earned a diploma in Science Education/Research from Porterville College, California. He bagged a B.Sc. in Microbiology/Biochemistry from the California State University Fresno, California. He then got an MB.BS from the College of Medicine, University of Lagos (UNILAG). During his education in California, he was popular, featuring in news articles and was quite distinguished in his University's soccer team. At UNILAG, he was a President of the Medical Student Association and a Vice President of the Student Union. All through his life, Dr. Ben attended and facilitated various educational courses and workshops within and outside Nigeria.

In his hometown, Ndiowu, Orumba North LGA of Anambra State and its vicinity, he was universally known as "Omutaozi." This was largely due to his benevolence and philanthropy especially in the education, welfare, and mentorship of so many from his siblings to distant relatives, Ndiowu Town indigenes, acquaintances and visitors, to name a few. From 1991 to 1994, he was National President of the Ndiowu Town Union. He was deeply involved in the development of the town, chairing and contributing to numerous town associations and committees, and also to the growth of his beloved St. Lawrence Anglican Church, Ndiowu. Beyond his hometown, Omutaozi led the resolution of a 70-year-old dispute between the Owerri-Ezukala and Ogbunka communities of Orumba South LGA, in addition to making vital input in several capacities and roles across the Orumba and Aguata LGAs, and Anambra State at large.

In politics, Dr. Ben was quite active. From his days in school, at his universities in the United States and Nigeria, to his hometown, his home state, his residence in Lagos, and Abuja, Dr. Ben contributed. In the late nineties, he was a founding member of the People's Democratic Party (PDP). He shared a very close bond with his brother-in-law, former Vice President of Nigeria, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, in whose presidential campaigns in 1998 and 2003, he was appointed a Director and Deputy Director General, respectively. From 2000 to 2003, he was the Commissioner for Health in Anambra State. In 2003, he passed on an opportunity to become Deputy Governor, Anambra State. In 2006, Dr. Ben contested for a seat in the National Assembly as a Senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District on the platform of the All Nigeria Peoples Party. After this, he forged a space, where his political associations and activities ran across party lines. Thus, he had friends and associates across many political parties in his home state and Nigeria.

In Dr Ben's paternal and maternal families, and his extended relatives, he was known as "Brother," "Uncle Ben," "Dumdum" and "Chukwudum." He helped so many, being personally responsible for the education and welfare of his siblings, especially after the death of his beloved father in 1981, when Dr. Ben assumed the role of father to his siblings. Dr. Ben was responsible for financing the marriage ceremonies of several siblings and their welfare after marriage. He intervened whenever there was crisis in their lives. For over three decades, he was the sole provider and caretaker of his mother, providing a home for her in his Ndiowu compound. He was also closely involved in the education, welfare and professional aspirations of his other relatives, beyond his mother and siblings. In death as in life, he was responsible for the funerals of his parents, siblings and extended family, amongst others. He did all these, even as a married man with a young family of his own to care for, and continued to do so until he was called by his Creator.

In his immediate family, he was "Ben" to his wife and "Daddy" to his children. For more than three decades, he was married to Lady Ngozi K. Anyene (née Ofu). They were blessed with four children. As education and zeal were very important to him, he was often encouraging his children in their educational and professional pursuits. A Knight of the Anglican Church and a son of a catechist, his relationship with God was exemplary within his family. Daddy was present in so many of the educational and professional milestones of his children. He was much loved by all members of his immediate family.

Dr. Ben lived a full life, passionately and resiliently doing good wherever he went. He passed away on the morning of Sunday 29 December 2019 in New York.

Dr. Ben Anyene was a husband, father, brother, friend and mentor to all who met him.

May his memory live on forever and may he rest in God's merciful peace, Amen.

"The light that shines twice as bright, burns half as long - and you, Daddy, have shined so very, very brightly."
Recent stories

Tribute to a Mentor and Father

Shared by Nkata Chuku on February 10, 2020
Dr Ben as he was fondly called by most of us, was a colossus with a kind heart. A visionary with a fervent love and loyalty for Nigeria, propelled by a selfless belief that we have what it takes to fix the challenges of the country and its health system.

I met Dr Ben in 2006 in Kaduna, while working as Member of the Ministerial Committee tasked with developing a Health Financing Policy for Nigeria. He took an interest in me after sitting through a session where I made inputs. In his characteristic generosity and believe in grooming younger talents, he went out of his way to engage with me and introduce me the leadership of the DFID Partnership for Transforming Health Systems (PATH) that he worked for then. I became his mentee from that day and by the time we came back to Abuja after a week in Kaduna, I had an engagement with PATHS as a consultant, to support some of their health financing and policy work.

Dr Ben worked harder than members of his team, despite his age. If you send him an email by 1am, be sure you will get a response before daybreak. I had to learn that if I wanted to sleep, I will wait until morning before sending him any work for review. His house always had a spare room or rooms for his team members and friends for the nights we had to work late. I still remember the many nights in his Wuse 2 and later Asokoro apartment, with him and some others, staying up, brainstorming, developing draft health documents and then napping for short intervals, to wake up and finalise in the morning. He will say to me, “… Chuku, the minister needs it early and we cannot fail to deliver, you are young and energetic so I know we can finish it”. If we got hungry, we warmed food from his fridge and ate, when the work is done, he will offer wine and loads of praise. His leadership approach and generosity made it impossible to say no when he asked that we work longer hours or away from home. How do you say no when you hear the passion in his voice, realise the level of sacrifice he is making for a better Nigerian health, especially given his age and numerous achievements after which most people would have retired? It felt good and positive working with him, so the hours didn’t seem to matter.

Besides his official work, Dr Ben extended his “doing good always” mantra to all the communities he belonged to. He got me to work with him to develop a concept for community development for his church in Abuja, a strategic plan for the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), a business case for local vaccine production in Nigeria and many other pro-bono endeavours. You will find him on almost any non-paying committee that is setup to advance health and development for Nigerians. He lived to serve and never gave up despite the obstacles. I recall severally expressing to him my frustration with the lack of sincere implementation of many strategies and policies we worked on together. He stayed positive and encouraged me not to give up, even though I can imagine that he felt the frustration more, having been much longer at supporting health sector reforms than me. He visibly channeled any disappointments and frustration he felt with the system, into more work, advocacy and constructive activism. He not only spoke truth to power, but offered himself selflessly, to lead in providing solutions.

Dr Ben provided all of us his mentees and anybody who was fortunate to come across him, the leverage to learn and grow. He reached out without prompting anytime he identified an opportunity that he feels is fit for you. He provided advice, references, mentorship and encouragement. Speaking with him a few weeks before he passed, he still poured out his usual wisdom and sent me a reference letter by 2am. Dr Ben took an interest in not just my work, but my well being as a person. He saw me beyond my technical abilities and was more of a father than a mentor and senior colleague. He was a leader with a heart of gold.

The health sector and Nigeria have lost a treasure, a giant and one of the sincerest believers in Nigeria, that I have ever met. Nigeria have lost a man who was the rallying point of the health sector reform struggle for over 2 decades. His footsteps in the sands of time are indelible. I am consoled by the fact that I had the opportunity of meeting with him, working with him and hearing him introduce me as one of his sons. It is indeed an honour.

Dr Ben lived his life fully according to his favourite bible quote “let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up - Galatians 6:9” He never wearied in doing good and never gave up. We, his health sector reform family, now owe it to him to ensure that his efforts at reforming the Nigerian health sector are not in vain. His transition to a better life should spur us to work harder to achieve a health sector where all Nigerians have access to quality health care, irrespective of their geography and socio-economic status.

I pray that God comforts his family and gives them strength and understanding. I and Health Systems Consult Ltd (HSCL), join the Health Sector Reform Coalition (HSRC) to stand with them at this time of pain.

May the Soul of Dr (Sir) Benjamin Nnamdi Chukwudum Anyene Rest in Perfect Peace, in the Bosom of the Lord.


Dr Nkata Nwani Chuku
Founding Partner, HSCL

Shared by Udoka Ene on January 23, 2020
My sincere and heartfelt condolences to Dr Anyene’s family. May God comfort you all.
May Dr Ben Anyene’s gentle soul rest in peace.