The British Council is the world’s leading cultural relations
organization and creates opportunities for people in the UK and
worldwide to understand each other, to work together and learn from one
another. We see this as crucial to building secure, more prosperous
and sustainable futures for us all.
We build trust and understanding
between different countries and cultures and develop strong
international links that are of benefit to people in Britain and the
rest of the world.
British Council is recruiting to fill the below position below:
Job Title: Head of Finance
Duration of job: Indefinite Contract
Reports to: Country Director Nigeria
Pay Band: Senior Leadership Band
Purpose of Job
- The Head of Finance will have responsibility for all aspects of
strategic and operational finance in Nigeria, acting as the finance
partner to the Country Director and Nigeria Executive Team.
- S/he will be responsible for ensuring the finance strategy
delivers growth through new business operating models, and conforms to
the Council’s financial control standards and the broader corporate and
regional objectives, whilst ensuring compliance with local tax and
- He/she will have a broad base of finance experience and have previously led multi-location finance teams.
- The post holder must also display an understanding of the
organisation’s aims and the ability to connect with operational
- Where necessary, he/she will be prepared to roll up their sleeves and support their team in making things happen.
- The post holder will be a key member of the Nigeria Executive
Team, working collaboratively with the UK and regional SSA Finance
Teams, and will actively contribute in the design and implementation of
regional financial strategy.
- He/she will be comfortable with a highly visible senior role, during a period of significant organisational change.
British Council Operating Context
- Nigeria is one of the largest economies in Africa. It is also
the most populous country with over 180 million citizens. The UK is its
largest trading partner. Nigeria holds significant political power in
the region and internationally and its society retains a positive
attitude to the UK.
- Therefore, there continue to be major opportunities for the UK
and BC to build on our strong existing relationships with the Nigerian
government, institutions and customers/audiences. However, there are
complex and substantial risks to this work i.e. security and compliance.
- Nigeria is the British Council’s largest operation in
sub-Saharan Africa with offices in 4 cities – Port Harcourt in the
south, Kano in the north, Abuja the Federal capital and Lagos the
commercial centre. We also have a number of project offices across the
- Our 200 staff work across a range of states delivering large
scale contracts, partnership programmes, examinations, projects as well
as services in Arts, Education & Society and English & Exams.
We are already achieving substantial impact and income (current annual
income is £27.2 million) and have plans to grow and develop our impact
- Partners and clients include government, public and private
institutions, foundations, private sector organisations and civil
society. We work closely with the wider UK mission including DFID and
- 42% of Nigeria’s population is under 14. The government has
recognised that its Vision 2020 must address the aspirations of this
young population as part of its drive to achieve peace and prosperity.
This has led to unprecedented interest and investment in Education, the
Arts and good governance. This alignment with the UK’s priorities
creates a growth environment for the British Council.
- To be successful in this, we need to build understanding with
our UK stakeholders of Nigeria as an emerging economy with substantial
commercial and development opportunities as well as the challenges they
may be more familiar with. In this we will seek to integrate our
approach with that of the wider UK mission.
- We intend to expand and scale up our existing programmes,
contracts and services in the Arts, Education & Society, English
& Examinations and develop offers to fill important gaps such as in
Skills. We also intend to ensure that we have a good balance of
partnership, customer services and client funded work across all these
- To do all this we need to create the right enabling environment.
In addition to developing the professional and technical expertise of
our staff, we need to support them to build their relationships within
Nigeria, the region and the wider global network. This will ensure we
develop as well as adopt and use best practice.
- We also need rigorous and compliant frameworks to support our
work in areas such as finance, tax & status, security, procurement,
compliance and quality management. We have new premises in Kano and
have a major premises project under development in Abuja. However,
there is still more work to be done, especially in Lagos and Port
Harcourt to ensure our premises and technology support our brand
reputation for integrity, innovation and professionalism.
Accountabilities, Responsibilities and Main Duties
Strategy Development and Implementation:
- Lead the development and delivery of the Nigeria Finance
strategy working with the Nigeria Executive Team, the regional Finance
team and relevant corporate teams.
- Ensure that a robust financial business plan with agreed targets
is developed that reflects the strategic focus for the Nigeria
- Lead the development and delivery of the Nigeria Tax &
Status Business Case ensuring that the operation has the right
governance structure to successfully and compliantly deliver its
Governance and Compliance:
- Ensure all Finance and Tax activities are delivered in compliance with and to relevant official standards and governance.
- Ensure the procurement and management of quality outsourced services for accounting, audit, reporting and tax.
- Maintain a strong culture of risk management, both within the operation and with partners.
- Lead in-country organisation, support and response to internal and external audits.
Leadership of the Finance Function:
- Provide accurate and timely financial information which supports
the Country Director and the Nigeria Executive Team in making business
decisions in line with country strategy and which grows the business
in a profitable and controlled manner.
- Ensure the delivery of strategic and operational business
planning, forecasting and reporting in partnership with the Nigeria
- Ensure that SAP and other relevant financial systems are
structured and maintained appropriately in line with corporate
requirements and business need.
- Liaison with HR and manage payroll service activities.
- Ensure all necessary financial documents are archived and stored according to the relevant retention schedules.
- Ensure that the Fixed Asset Register is completed accurately and monitored on a regular basis.
- Own the Financial Control and Compliance Framework (FCCF)
process and work closely with the Nigeria Executive Team to ensure that
all aspects of financial risk are managed rigorously.
- Support Director Programmes to ensure that effective financial
monitoring and reporting is undertaken to British Council, client and/or
- Lead on Treasury and cash flow management for the Nigeria operation.
- Ensure financial business processes are kept up to date, documented and communicated to staff.
- Periodically review financial processes to ensure they remain appropriate, customer focused and compliant.
- Monitor and ensure implementation of changes in Nigerian tax and
accounting legislation and ensure any changes required are made to
financial and business systems.
Business Development and Growth:
- Develop and leverage potential for business growth through high
quality financial modelling and commercial costing and pricing
- Lead on ensuring all financial aspects of the setting up new
products, projects, investments and services e.g. tax and accounting
compliance, as well as pricing and costing are addressed.
- Coordinate advice on financial and legal aspects of commercial negotiations.
- Ensure effective and efficient delivery of financial services by maximising productivity in financial transactions and support.
- Ensure the assessment of financial risk and return on market opportunities and any investments in new products and services.
Team Leadership and Management:
- Demonstrate effective leadership of Nigeria Finance staff and
ensure that line management of staff is to British Council standards.
- Actively support equality and diversity and work to the British Council’s EO&D policy at all times
- Ensure that capability and capacity in the Finance team is
fit-for-purpose and able to respond flexibly to changes in the portfolio
and operating context.
- Ensure financial training for members of the Finance team and operational staff.
- Coach and support individuals and teams.
- Model appropriate leadership styles and British Council
behaviours and ensure that staff work in alignment with British Council
Values at all times
Country Team Working and Management:
- As a member of the Country Management Team (CMT), contribute
actively on country level strategy, leadership, policy and decision
- Contribute to ensuring the policies, procedures and systems of the BC are delivered with integrity.
- Maintain close working relationships with all senior colleagues
and exploit collaborative working opportunities e.g. with Arts and
Exams to support achievement of impact in Nigeria.
- Lead Country wide initiatives as agreed e.g. Child Protection, Staff Engagement etc.
Regional and Functional Team Working:
- Work closely and effectively as part of the regional and global Finance teams.
- Support Regional Finance Director in formulating and updating the regional finance strategy.
- Develop Nigeria as a finance centre of excellence so it can operate as a training hub for the region.
- Manage the Nigeria relationship with the BC Service Shared Centre, making sure country needs and expectations are met.
- Identify areas of process improvements and assist in rolling out the improvements in Nigeria and across the Nigeria.
- Contribute to developing “fit for purpose” systems that reduce bureaucracy and adequately mitigate risks.
Continuous Professional Development:
- Manage talent and succession planning effectively within the Finance team.
- Ensure career planning, development planning and continuous professional development are embedded in the Finance team.
- Engage in professional networks and continuous professional development to ensure that knowledge and expertise are kept updated.
- Country Director and Nigeria Executive Team
- Regional finance team
- Key colleagues in Strategic Business Units (SBUs)
- Major suppliers including bank and consultancies
- Tax authorities
- Relevant colleagues in British High Commission
- UK based Finance teams
- British Council Shared Services Centre
- External & Internal Auditors
- Corporate Affairs team (Corporate Governance and Legal)
Other important Features or Requirement of the Job:
- The post holder will be expected to travel within Nigeria,
regionally and more widely. As with any business that experiences peaks
and troughs of activity, there is likely to be a need to work outside
office hours from time to time.
- Making it Happen – most demanding
- Being accountable – most demanding
- Behaviours: Appointees to roles at this level are expected to
demonstrate all 6 behaviours. Behaviours will be assessed in the
selection process with particular emphasis on:
- Creating Shared Purpose – Most demanding
- Actively gain the support of other people and keep them fully engaged to contribute effectively.
- Clearly state our aims and communicate our purpose in clear and
non-technical terms so that others can understand and thus achieve
- Demonstrate standards of excellence and deliver value for money. Measure progress and adapt plans when necessary.
- Shaping the future – Most demanding
- Continually look at ways of improving ways of working and being innovative.
- Shaping the future – most demanding
- Creating shared purpose – most demanding
- Connecting with others – most demanding
- Working together – most demanding
- Challenge assumptions and be a forward looking business partner.
- Being accountable – Most demanding
- Hold self and others responsible for delivering goals on time and in line with the shared purpose of the Council.
- Bringing a “can do” attitude and commercial flair to the function
- Making it happen – Most demanding
- Deliver quality and timely results, achieve challenging goals
and strive for excellence in setting clear and demanding objectives to
deliver what is required.
Proven experience of:
- Leading a team of professionals and working across functions/locations
- Operating in international and multi-cultural organisations
- Member of a governance team or Board
- About ten years of relevant experience in commercial and/or ‘not for profit‘ organisations.
- Chartered Accountant or equivalent.
Skills and Knowledge:
Core Skills (referenced in the British Council Core Skills Guide):
- Managing People – Level 3
- Managing Finance and Resources – Level 5
- Managing Risk – Level 3 (Level 4 Desirable)
- Knowledge of Nigerian Tax and reporting regulatory requirements.
- Managing Projects – Level 3 (Level 4 Desirable)
- Communicating and Influencing – Level 5
How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply
Application Deadline 30th September, 2016.