Until last week Friday, there was still hope against all hope that Dr. Babatunde William Fowler will have his tenure renewed as the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). But even at that, it was just a 30 to 70 per cent odd. Just as many were expecting that one way or the other, President Muhammadu Buhari, maybe, would look more at his outstanding and award-winning records on his beat as seasoned tax administrator and give him a nod to continue with another term, all came to nought as he appeared to have stepped on many toes.
So, last week, another chapter ended for Fowler, a debonair professional and socialite, as President Buhari decided not to renew his tenure but replaced him with another tax expert, Muhammad M. Nami. Now that Fowler’s four-year reign—December 9, 2015 till Monday December 9, 2019— has ended, and inasmuch as he might have stepped on many toes as FIRS boss, he has definitely made lots of friends. All the conspiracy theories are gone as everyone is now anxious to know Fowler’s next steps. There are insinuations that Fowler will not be idle for too long as he might likely get a wink from some blue chip companies who are likely to have him on their boards. He’s also expected to be running a consultancy business where his wealth of experience will be deployed.
Born on August 12, 1956, Fowler was at different times the Executive Chairman and CEO of Lagos State Board of Internal Revenue. He attended Igbobi College in Lagos and had his tertiary education at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a Minor in Political Science in 1978. He completed a Second Bachelor’s degree programme at California State University, Los Angeles, and Masters in Business Administration Degree.