Mixed reactions have trailed the educational credibility of President Muhammadu Buhari's latest appointee, Williams Babatunde Fowler, who is to head Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
A report by online news portal, SaharaReporters, claiming Fowler's honorary doctorate degree, which he purportedly bagged from a United Kingdom institution known as “Irish International University” is a fraud fuelled the reactions, with many blaming the Buhari administration for negligence, while others are on the defensive.
Shortly, after the Presidential rep. Femi Adesina announced Fowler's appointment on Thursday, August 20, and reeled out his academic qualification, a University professor based in the United State Farooq Kperogi, took to Facebook to discredit the candidate and the appointment.
He wrote; “After months of delays, ostensibly to properly vet his appointees, President Buhari just appointed somebody that may turn out to be a total fraud. He appointed a certain "Dr." William Babatunde Fowler as the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). In a news release signed by Femi Adesina, this red flag appears on the man's qualifications: "Fowler, who holds an Honorary Doctorate Degree [sic] 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." Well, Irish International University is a fraudulent, non-existent university (see http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/7175730.stm).
“Second, the Committee of Vice Chancellors in Nigeria has ruled that people with even legitimate honorary doctorates cannot prefix "Dr." to their names, as is the practice globally (see http://www.farooqkperogi.com/.../finally-some-good-news...). I fear that if this Fowler's other qualifications are looked into, a big scandal may break out. His bachelor's degree, for instance, is said to be from the "University of Wisconsin" and his master's degree from "California State University.
“The trouble is, University of Wisconsin and California State University are multiple-campus universities; you can't just say you attended the University of Wisconsin without mentioning the location. The University of Wisconsin has 26 campuses, and California State University has 23 campuses. Something is fishy here!”
However, in a detailed listing of Fowler's education background, Wikipedia did not mention his 'Honorary Doctorate Degree' from the Irish International University in its citation.
Furthermore, SR report pointed out that the 'Irish International University' is operated by a United Kingdom aristocrat, Professor Baron Knowth, who serves as the Honorary Chancellor of the Irish International University.
No reactions from neither the Presidency nor Fowler's quarters as at press time.