He was credited with the wizardry that saw Lagos’ internally generated revenue balloon from an average of N3.6 billion per month in January 2006, to an average of about N20.5 billion per month by 2013.
Dr. William Babatunde Fowler from the popular Fowler family in Lagos is a popular name. Recall that talk of the town wedding in Lagos and Dubai which he organised for his daughter Funke sometimes ago. That marriage eventually crashed. He later resigned or was forced to resign as boss of Lagos Internal Revenue Service by former Governor Babatunde Fashola. And once his name came up for mention in the permutation by the All Progressives Congress National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu for Lagos governorship race, but Fashola was said to have shot it down allegedly saying “over his dead body”. He lampooned Fowler for his lavish spending on his wedding. But the sun has again shoned brilliantly on Fowler’s fortune. On Thursday, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed him the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
He was the CEO/Executive Chairman of the Lagos State Board of Internal Revenue from 2005 to 2014. He is a known ally of Asiwaju Tinubu. But Fowler is eminently qualified for the job. He 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, Dr. Fowler worked in the banking sector for about 20 years with long stints at Credit Lyonnais Nigeria Limited and Chartered Bank. Fowler holds an Honorary Doctorate Degree of the Irish International University and he is also 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.