President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday appointed Dr. William Babatunde Fowler as the new Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Dr. Fowler, until his current appointment was the Chief Executive Officer/Executive Chairman of the Lagos State Board of Internal Revenue from 2005 to 2014.
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.
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. President 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.
Gusau replaces Bright Okogu who has been appointed Director of African Development Bank since June 2015. Before moving to the ADB, Okogu had worked as Adviser and Budget Director, to close the deal that made Nigeria to achieve a big debt relief from the Paris Club of creditors. He had previously serviced in high positions at the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and as lecturer in Economics at the University of Jos, Nigeria.