Politics & Business

Ex-Lagos tax boss, Fowler now national tax collector as FIRS chairman

President Muhammadu Buhari on August 20 reversed former President Goodluck Jonathan’s last-minute appointment of Samuel Ogungbesan as Act­ing Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) by replacing Ogungbesan with the Dr. William Babatunde Fowler.

Fowler was the former CEO/Executive Chairman of Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS). He had served on its board from 2005 through 2014. He was born to the family of Professor (Dr) and (Chief) Mrs. W.V. Fowler both of Lagos State. He studied in the United States of America at the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater, where he obtained his first bachelors’ degree with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a minor in Political Science in 1978.

He attended Igbobi College Yaba, completed a second bachelors’ degree program at California State University, Los Angeles and also a Master of Business Administration degree program at California State University, Dominguez Hills in 1981. He got an honorary doctorate degree of the Irish International University. He turned 59 years old on August 12. Fowler is married to Rosemary Fowler and they are blessed with children.

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 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 is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria and the Business Management Association of the United Kingdom. His appointment came as Buhari, aso on Thursday August 20 removed the Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, Bright Okogu, replacing him with Aliyu Yahaya Gusau.

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