Recruitment for a Finance Assistant at British Council, Abuja

Recruitment for a Finance Assistant at British Council, Abuja

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. We do this by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

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Job Title: Finance Assistant

Location: Abuja, Nigeria
Pay Band: 4/H
Department: Finance
Job Category: Finance
Duration: Fixed Term (3 years)
Reports to: Finance Manager
Role Type: Business Delivery

Role Purpose
Reporting to the Finance Manager and the Country Finance Team, the Finance Assistant will be responsible for managing and ensuring financial processes of all FCR programmes within the justice, security and conflict sector are implemented as per the British Council and EU driven policies and providing support to the Finance Manager and assistance to programme teams to specifically support the payment and invoicing process as required.

The main areas of focus for the role are:

  • To provide advice and direct support to other business teams to enable them complete their tasks on time and to ensure value for money impact for activities.
  • To manage relationship with bank including management of operational runs to bank when needed, issue policies relating to bank controls like S2B, keeping a clear log of signatories.
  • To support the procurement process through monitoring of the vendor creation/amendment procedures and to provide assurance concerning the validity of potential vendors.

Geopolitical/SBU/Function overview
The British Council in Nigeria is implementing the European Union Conflict Management in Nigeria programme under their Trust Fund (EUTF) and the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption programme in Nigeria under their Development Fund programme (EUDF). We are implementing the Agents for Citizen-driven Transformation (ACT) Programme under the European Union development fund. In partnership with COFFEY, we are delivering the Policing work under their Conflict Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) and are managing the Programme Coordination Office for DFID’s Deepening Democracy in Nigeria Phase 2 (DDiN2) Programme. To support our existing contracts as well as future contracts, we are developing flexible structures that meet the global British Council standards to provide support to our FCR (Justice, Security and Conflict) work in Nigeria.

The Conflict Management programme in North Eastern Nigeria is a €21m EUTF-funded Programme (2017-2021) and works with the overall aim of enhancing state and community level conflict management capability to prevent the escalation of conflict into violence in a number of locations in North-Eastern Nigeria. The Programme has an annual turnover of around £5-£6m and work in 3 states – Adamawa, Borno and Yobe as well as in Abuja. The programme is being delivered alongside a partner (International Alert) with the British Council leading the contract.

The Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) programme in Nigeria is a €25m EUDF-funded Programme (2017-2021) and has the overall aim of enhancing good governance in Nigeria by contributing to strengthening of the rule of law, curbing corruption and reducing impunity. The programme has an annual turnover of around £5-£6m and work in 4 states – Adamawa, Anambra, Kano, Lagos, as well as in Abuja. The RoLAC programme will be extending to Edo State.

The Agents for Citizen-driven Transformation (ACT) programme is an EU funded programme being implemented by the British Council. The programme is funded under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) and will be implemented over a period of five years from July 2018, with the first 6 months serving as the programme Inception Phase for the development of strategies for full programme implementation. The ACT programme will contribute to the progressive achievement of several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as to the national development priorities identified in the Nigeria Vision 20:20 Economic Transformation Blueprint. The Overall Objective of the programme is to contribute to more inclusive, effective, accountable and gender-responsive development in Nigeria; while its specific objectives is to enhance the credibility and role of CSOs as drivers of change for sustainable development in Nigeria. The programme has an annual turnover of around £3-£4m and will be implemented at the Federal level and in selected states where EU programmes concentrate.

The Nigerian context is generally challenging, having poor infrastructure and currently facing a volatile security situation. There is still a significant reliance on the cash economy, corruption is high and the regulatory and compliance structures that exist are highly ineffective. The overall economic situation is not good with the low oil prices leading to high unemployment, increasing inflation and a shortage of foreign currency causing the value of the Naira to weaken considerably. This makes Nigeria a very challenging environment in which to deliver programmes. The Programme Support Office is located in Abuja, but in an office that is separate from the main British Council office.

The post holder must therefore have the ability to work in an ambiguous and difficult environment in which British Council processes need to be adapted or developed to cope with unusual requirements and difficult context. The post holder will work closely with the programme delivery and management teams as well as having significant interactions with the technical teams and Nigerian partners.

Accountabilities, Responsibilities and Main Duties
In line with principles of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and other overarching corporate policies:
Project delivery:

  • To support timely processing of invoices to designated workshops, meetings and events according to stated requirements.
  • Support processing of payments and reconciling records according to agreed time standards for same.

Payment processes:

  • Support maintenance of Abuja office cash imprest and support in parking and posting of Petty cash transactions on to SAP.
  • Audit travel, procurement and workshop expenses as may be directed by the Finance Manager, keeping and recording items in Finance Safe.
  • Support printing, filing, scanning and updating of finance related documents.
  • Support all payment and processing functions of the finance team.

Team support and Contribution:

  • To assist in taking on responsibilities to support the Programme finance team where necessary and practical.
  • To proactively share best practice and learning across the wider EU programmes team.
  • To seek to understand the interdependencies and connections that programme office has with other organisations and manage such relationships within own work area.
  • Ensure professionalism is demonstrated in own work area and that customer / client needs and perspectives are reflected in own behaviours and focus.
  • To support the embedding of continuous learning and improvement into the team.

Continuous Professional Development:

  • To ensure personal development on IT skills for wider adminstrative assistance.

Other administrative work:

  • As required.

Key Relationships

  • Programme Managers, Technical Lead, Operation Managers, State Teams, Procurement and Estate Manager, HR Manager, Finance Manager, Country Finance Team, GSD, Programme Officers, Programme Assistants and other Project Teams.


  • External relationship management where appropriate (i.e. linked to function of role), to include: EU, DFID, consultants, External Partner Organizations, MDAs, Nigerian Banks etc.

Role Requirements
Threshold requirements (Passport requirements/ Right to work in country):

  • All applicants should have a pre-existing legal status to live and work in NIgeria. The British Council will not facilitate/sponsor visa applications and work permits.

Threshold requirements (Direct contact or managing staff working with children?):

  •  Appropriate child protection assurance checks in accordance with British Council policy.

Notes: Some unsocial hours, weekend work and travel may be required where the need arises.

Person Specification

  • Bachelor’s Degree


  • Evidence of continuous professional development in ACA/ACCA/CPA Professional Accounting qualifications

Role Specific Knowledge & Experience

  • Minimum of 1 year experience in a project finance environment. Experience of working on SAP Experience of positive contribution to change
  • Experience of working as part of a successful team/function. High levels of personal effectiveness and the ability to focus on achieving deadlines.


  • Experience of working in a Full Cost Recovery (FCR) project
  • Computer skills – A good knowledge of Microsoft Office suite
  • Experience of operating in a complex, multi-cultural context.

British Council Core Skills

  • Managing Finance and Resources (Level 2): Uses financial systems and processes – Uses corporate financial systems and processes appropriately as part of the job and on behalf of a team.
  • Analysis Data and Problems (Level 2): Uses data – Reviews available data and identifies cause and effect, and then chooses the best solution from a range of known alternatives.
  • Managing Risk (Level 1): Follows good practices – Demonstrates understanding of risk management policies and procedures and record of following them.
  • Using Technology (Level 1): Operates as a basic user of information systems, digital and office technology – Able to use office software and British Council systems to do the job and manage documents or processes.
  • Managing Project (Level 1): Follows project management disciplines – Demonstrates understanding of risk management policies and procedures and record of following them.

British Council Behaviours

  • Being accountable (Essential): Delivering my best work in order to meet my commitments.
  • Creating shared purpose (Essential): Communicating an engaging picture of how we can work together.
  • Shaping the future (Essential): Looking for ways in which we can do things better
  • Connecting with others (More demanding): Actively appreciating the needs and concerns of myself and others.
  • Making it happen (Essential): Delivering clear results for the British Council.
  • Working together (More demanding): Ensuring that others benefit as well as me.


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How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply

Click here to download Job Details (Pdf)

Click here to download BC Behaviour (pdf)

Click here to download BC Core Skills (pdf)


Application Deadline 11th August, 2019 (23:59 UK time)

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