Beyond the 5 trillion Naira revenue collection: Tax authorities must provide useful reports about their performances

According to International Financial Reporting Standards, certain attributes are necessary to ensure that information provided in financial reports is useful to its users. These qualitative characteristics are: ease of understanding; relevance; comparability and reliability.

For any information to be considered as reliable certain attributes must be present including faithful representation, substance over form and completeness. These attributes are applicable to all forms of information whether in the private or public sector and regardless of the intended users.

Out of the total collection N1.806 trillion came from nonoil taxes (N1.557 trillion in 2011) which means oil taxes contributed N3.201 trillion or circa 64%. Given that the FIRS collected N4.628 trillion in 2011, how come the total budget for 2012 was reduced by a whopping N1 trillion to N3.635 trillion? Although a budget is simply a plan but it must be sufficiently challenging to drive performance. It appears we either do not fully appreciate the principles of budgeting or we deliberately ignore them to set targets that we are almost guaranteed to exceed.