Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Information Behaviour of Revenue Collectors in Lagos State, Nigeria

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Information Behaviour of Revenue Collectors in Lagos State, Nigeria

Article excerpt

Introduction

Government needs funds to execute social obligations to the public. These social obligations include but are not limited to the provision of infrastructure and social services (good educational system, good roads, good health care system, etc.). This perhaps explains why the government shows great concern for a medium through which fund can be made available to achieve their set goals for the society. It becomes the responsibility of the government to source for funds to enable her provide basic amenities to the citizenry who are the beneficiaries.

One of the media through which government generate funds is taxation. The citizens are expected to discharge their civic responsibility by paying their taxes as these contribute to the development and administration of the society at large (Murkur, 2001). Soyode and Kajola (2006) defined tax as a compulsory exaction of money by a public authority for public purposes. The authors noted that it is possible for tax payers not to receive anything identifiable for their contribution but that they have the benefit of living in a relatively educated, healthy and safe society. The responsibility to ensure that tax is collected rest on the government and it is their responsibility too to ensure that they have information about the tax payers. Such information could range from sex, age, occupation, and location of the citizens. The tax collectors need this information at their fingertips to be able to fulfil their obligation of collecting tax money from the citizens.

Information is acknowledged as a commodity in the world today. Our economy depends primarily on the production and consumption of information (Straubhaar, LaRose & Davenport, 2011); thus, information propels the society forward. However, different definitions have been given to information based on perception, context and discipline. For this study, information is defined as facts, opinions, news, databases, symbols, etc. that change the knowledge state of the recipient either positively or negatively (Popoola, 2006). While information behaviour on the other hand is defined by Pettigrew, Fidel and Bruce (2001) as the study of how people need, seek, give and use information in different contexts, including the work place and everyday living. Hence the assessment of information behaviour of revenue collectors becomes vital. In the context of this work, information behaviour is used as it applies to revenue collectors' information need, seeking, sources, access and use with regard to their job activities. Many factors determine level of awareness, information behaviour of revenue collectors and eventually compliance to tax laws by citizens. For revenue collectors to have information on tax law, they must have access to relevant information, be able to read and understand it. There are a number of studies on human information behavior in various work contexts, Wilson (2000, Rafiq and Ameen, 2009, and Eunkyung, Myunghyun and Yongbeon, 2008) for example. However, there is little or none of such literature in the context of revenue collectors in Nigeria.

Objectives of the Study

The general objective of this study is to investigate information behaviour of tax collectors in Lagos State. The specific objectives are to:

1. find out the information need of revenue collectors in Lagos State Internal Revenue Service.

2. establish the information seeking pattern of revenue collectors in the Internal Revenue Service, Lagos.

3. investigate the information sources used by revenue collectors.

4. assess the level of ease associated with information access/retrieval of revenue collectors in Lagos.

5. find out the challenges revenue collectors face in seeking information.

Review of Related Literature

Information behaviour is described as the many ways in which human beings interact with information, it is particularly concerned the ways in which people seek and utilize information. …

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