Project Management Vacancy at The British Council

British Council jobs in Nigeria
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.

Nigeria Status Project Manager

Pay Band: 8
Reports to: Director Business Services Nigeria
Duration of job: 2 years (fixed term)

Purpose of Job
  • To provide professional project management leadership in overseeing the implementation of the Nigeria Status project in line with British Council Nigeria strategy and corporate requirements within the Status Programme.
  • To lead on the project management, implementation, systems, processes, people and change management activities surrounding the establishment of the new entity by April 2018.
  • Manage the project timeline and key milestones against the agreed project plan, in close collaboration with the relevant business teams in Nigeria, local advisors and SAP partners and the Status Project Coordinators in the UK.
Context and Environment
The British Council is the UK’s International organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations.
Nigeria is one of the largest economies in Africa. It is also the most populous country with over 170 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. There are therefore major opportunities for the UK and BC to increase influence, income and, through this, our impact by building 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 office in 4 cities - Port Harcourt in the south, Kano in the north, Abuja the Federal capital and Lagos the commercial centre. Our 150 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 turnover is £19.8 million) and have plans to grow and develop our impact further. Partners and clients include government, public and private institutions, foundations, private sector organisations and civil society. We work closely with the wider UK team including DFID and UKTI. 

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 are expanding and scaling up our existing programmes, contracts and services in the Arts, Education & Society, English & Examinations and developing offers to fill important gaps such as in Skills. We are also working to ensure that we have a good balance of partnership, customer services and client funded work across all these sectors. 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.

The Nigeria Status Project Manager will be accountable for the successful planning, management and delivery of the Nigeria project. The successful candidate needs to be able to support and work with a wide range of colleagues to provide the collaborative yet challenging professional partnership which is core to this type of position. They need to build and maintain effective working relationships with a broad range of key stakeholders and business leads, in British Council Nigeria, to facilitate the effective, efficient and holistic delivery of the project and a ‘future proofed’ solution.

The post holder will need to lead on change management as a key component of the project and, post project go live, ensure people, process and systems are bedded in, evaluated and issues addressed ahead of project closure.

Responsibilities and Main Duties
  • Develop and implement a detailed project plan to ensure smooth transition for agreed businesses to the new operating model
  • Identify key stakeholders for each strand/work stream of the project and ensure that detailed plans are developed and implemented; strands will include Project Management (including identifying risks/challenges & developing mitigation plans to ensure a smooth and seamless transition), Premises (in close collaboration with outsourced consultants & relevant business teams), HR (in close consultation with HR colleagues), Finance, SAP, Tax, Governance & Legal, Branding, Communications
  • Collaborate closely with relevant teams to balance the requirements of the various businesses which will operate under the new model as appropriate for each of the above strands
  • To ensure that the entity’s operations are supported by robust systems and processes and that relevant, staff are trained as appropriate. This will involve:
    • Enabling processes for incorporation of the company and liaising with legal and tax advisers to ensure compliance with local legal requirements, and internal British Council processes
    • Liaise with tax and legal advisors to set up the most efficient capital structure of the existing company
    • Identifying any changes to banking requirements that are required to comply with the new status, and liaise with Treasury team to ensure changes are put in place
    • Working with local SAP partners to deliver a gap analysis, an agreed blueprint and statement of requirements to meet the statutory requirements of Nigeria
    • Management of changes to systems (SAP), processes and people, as agreed with Finance stakeholders
    • Impact analysis on operational processes and revision of those processes as appropriate, as agreed with the Finance stakeholders
    • Ensure development and delivery of communications plan covering the changes with particular focus on the HR strand
    • Management of cut-over and go-live (such as transfer of assets to subsidiary) plus stabilisation to the agreed position as per the implementation plan (including relevant knowledge transition)
    • Working with Corporate Services Training team to identify relevant process and systems training, as agreed with Global Finance Change Programme
    • Set up new systems and compliance frameworks as required under the new entity
    • Review of entity resource requirements for post go-live
    • Liaise closely with relevant business to ensure the selection and set up of appropriate premises, resource and facilities requirements for the new model and ensure accurate financial modelling is completed in line with agreed timescales
    • Sign-off of stabilisation process (3 months after go-live)
    • Hand-over of management of BAU requirements to deputed managers in the entity
    • Monitor and complete project closure procedures, including approval of go-live report and due diligence file as agreed with Status and Finance stakeholders as appropriate
    • Ensure smooth running of the new entity once set up is complete
    • Ensure completion of the first set of accounts
    • Identify and escalate key risks and issues to Country Director (SRO) and S&T team in the UK
    • Management of project budgets and project related procurement activities in line with corporate standards and policies
Key Relationships
  • Country Director Nigeria, Director Business Services Nigeria, Assistant Director Nigeria,
  • Regional Finance Director & Decision Support team, Head Finance Nigeria, Head HR Nigeria, Compliance Manager Nigeria, Regional Head HR, Deputy Regional Director SSA
  • Director Programmes, Strategic Business Unit (SBU) Directors, Programme Portfolio Lead (Justice, Security, Conflict)
  • West Africa Cluster Country Directors
  • Status team in UK (including Head Treasury, Legal Advisor, Tax Advisor, Status Programme Manager, Group Financial controller)
  • Shared Services Centre India and SAP specialists
  • Role equivalents across the British Council network
  • External tax consultants, legal advisors, SAP partners and other professional consultants as needed for the project
  • British High Commission
Other Important Features or Requirements of the Job
  • Evening and /or weekend working may be required in order to meet project deadlines and to facilitate working with colleagues in India in the Shared Service Center.
  • Please specify any passport/visa and/or nationality requirement: Right to work in Nigeria
  • Please indicate if any security or legal checks are required for this role: Reference Checks as per British Council HR policy
Person Specification
  • Making it happen (most demanding) - Essential
  • Creating shared purpose (more demanding) - Essential
  • Being accountable (most demanding) - Essential
  • Connecting with others (more demanding) - Essential
  • Working Together (more demanding) - Essential
  • Shaping the future (more demanding) - Essential
  • Interview - Assessment stage
  • These behaviours will be needed to successfully carry out the role, but will not be assessed for recruitment purposes - Assessment stage
Skills and Knowledge:
  • Managing Projects level 5: Leads larger projects and assures project standards - Essential
  • Managing Finance and Resources  level 4: Plans and deploys resources - Essential
  • Managing Risk level 3: Develops the culture - Essential
  • Analysing data level 4: Solves complex problems - Essential
  • Communicating and Influencing level 3: Is creative and adaptable in communications - Essential
  • Excellent working knowledge of SAP - highly desirable
  • Short listing & Interview - Assessment stage
  • English language testing will form part of the recruitment and selection exercise - Assessment stage
  • At least 7 years’ demonstrated project management experience - Essential
  • At least 2 years’ experience in an organisational consultancy role - Essential
  • Track record in managing projects with multiple stakeholders and drawing on external advice - Essential
  • Experience of setting up an organisational entity in Nigeria - Desirable
  • Proven record of liaising with external tax advisors, accountants and legal advisors - desirable
  • Short listing & Interview - Assessment stage
  • Post-graduate qualification in Management, Finance or Law - Essential
  • APM, PRINCE 2 or equivalent project management qualification - Desirable
  • Legal and finance specialism - Desirable
  • Short listing - Assessment stage
Method of Application

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