Thursday , November 24 2022


Secret Reporters

In the appointment of public servants especially as it concerns the management of public funds, proper vetting and background checks to ensure a track record of accountability and transparency cannot be overemphasized.

However, there are certain people who are appointed by reason of a track record of accountability and transparency from previous offices held but turns out to become the direct opposite of who they used to be.

A clear example of this is the head of Federal Inland Revenue Service, Babatunde Williams Fowler, who prior to his appointment was probably found worthy to be part of the anti-corruption train being piloted by President Muhammadu Buhari having displayed equity while he was then the Permanent Secretary/ Executive Chairman of the Lagos State Board of Internal Revenue amongst other offices held. However, after his appointment about three years ago, he has constantly been in the news for the wrong reasons especially on corruption allegations and illegal recruitment exercises.

Sources close to the FIRS boss disclosed to SecretReporters that Fowler has transformed from being a tax collector to an emperor due to the absence of a board to regulate his operations as it is alleged that he sternly frowns at those who criticize his style of leadership and chokes those who point out his mistakes placing them in what is popularly known in the service as “IDP”.

It was further alleged that as a result of this, the FIRS boss has within three years of his appointment recruited over 340 personnel without following due process and in a bid to find favor with political elites, he has turned a blind eye to their tax evasion practices and has formed an alliance with them. One of our sources disclosed that he’s on the verge of secretly recruiting relations of cronies again as he has called for names from these politicians where over 800 personnel will be recruited  without conducting any test or interview as part of his campaign of becoming the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor in the nearest future.

We gathered that Fowler has continuously engaged the services of consultants and professionals outside the service to carry out tasks that could easily be handled by its personnel who are highly experienced and equipped to handle such tasks probably to create avenues to embezzle funds.

“The service which has a high concentration of highly experienced chartered accountants and tax professionals still has an alarming record of tax evasion and corrupt practices as a result of ineffectiveness and the negligence of the FIRS boss”, narrated a source.

He has an Achilles Heels and that’s his love for women, a brewing story for other days to come.

Babatunde Fowler who was appointed about three years ago following what many would describe as his good works when he was the pioneer Permanent Secretary/ Executive Chairman of the Lagos State Board of Internal Revenue under the leadership of the former Governor of Lagos State Babatunde Fashola appears to have become puffed up with his new office and has decided to drag his good name in the mud of corruption and financial misappropriation.

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