Buhari appoints Tinubu’s loyalist, Fowler, FIRS chairman

Babatunde Fowler

Babatunde FowlerPresident Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Dr. William Babatunde Fowler, an acolyte of former Governor Bola Tinubu of Lagos State, as the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

He replaces Samuel Ogungbesan who was appointed Acting Executive Chairman by former President Goodluck Jonathan on March 8, 2015.

Fowler was the Chief Executive Officer/Executive Chairman of the Lagos State Board of Internal Revenue from 2005 to 2015.

He was appointed during Tinubu’s second term as Governor and retained by immediate past Governor Babatunde Fashola.

There was an outcry against him over the grand wedding he threw for his daughter, Funke, in 2011. It was alleged that millions of dollars was spent to fly dignitaries to the wedding held in Dubai and it took the intervention of Tinubu and others to stop an embarrassed Fashola from sacking him.

He resigned his appointment with the Lagos State Government shortly after the inauguration of incumbent Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in June 2015.

Fowler had his higher education in the United States where he obtained a Bachelor’s 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, 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.

He will serve as Acting Executive Chairman of FIRS until his appointment is confirmed by the Senate.

Buhari has also appointed Mr. Aliyu Yahaya Gusau as Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation.

Mr. Gusau’s appointment is with effect from August 18, 2015 and is for a term of four years, renewable for another four years, unless he attains the retirement age of 60 years or completes 35 years of pensionable service.