By Yemi Adebowale
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday appointed Dr. William Babatunde Fowler as the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
This was announced in a statement issued by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Femi Adesina.
Fowler will serve as Acting Executive Chairman of FIRS until his appointment is confirmed by the Senate.
Before his appointment, Dr. Fowler was the Chief Executive Officer/Executive Chairman of the Lagos State Board of Internal Revenue from 2005 to 2014. A Tinubu loyalist, Fowler was appointed chairman of the board when Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was governor of Lagos State. It was under his tenure as LIRS boss that Alpha Beta, a tax audit agency allegedly owned by Tinubu, consulted for LIRS. According to reports, the Government of Lagos State boasts of internally generated revenue of about N40 billion every month; translating into a commission of N6 Billion being paid to Alpha Beta Consulting Ltd.
The statement confirming the appointment of Fowler reads: “He had his higher education in the United States where he obtained a Bachelor degree in Economics from the University of Wisconsin and a Master of Business Administration degree from the California State University.
“Before joining the service of the Lagos State Government, Dr. Fowler worked in the banking sector for about 20 years with long stints at Credit Lyonnais Nigeria Limited and Chartered Bank.
“Under his leadership, the Lagos State Board of Internal Revenue reportedly achieved a sharp increase in internally generated revenue from an average of N3.6. billion per month in January 2006, to an average of about N20.5 billion per month in 2013.
“Fowler, who holds an Honorary Doctorate Degree of the Irish International University, is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria and the Business Management Association of the United Kingdom.”