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Finance Officer, KaLMA at British Council Nigeria

Posted on Wed 18th Sep, 2019 - --- (0 comments)

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:
Job Title: Finance Officer, Kano Literacy and Mathematics Accelerator (KaLMA)

Role Type: Advisory, Policy and Expertise
Pay Band: 4
Location: Kano
Duration: Fixed Term, Until 31 December 2020 with possibility for renewal subject to donor funding
Reports to: KaLMA Operations Manager
Role Purpose
  • The post holder will be responsible for managing and ensuring financial processes for the kano Literacy and Mathematics Accelerator (KaLMA) project; providing support to the Operations Manager and assistance to programme teams to specifically support the payment and invoicing processes as required
  • Support the procurement process through monitoring of the vendor creation/amendment procedures and to provide assurance concerning the validity of potential vendors.
Project Overview
Nigeria is one of the largest economies in Africa. It is also the most populous country with over 190 million citizens. 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 to increase influence, funding sources and, through this, our impact by building on our strong existing relationships with the Nigerian government, private and civil society institutions and customers/audiences. However, there are complex and substantial risks to this work like security and compliance. North West Nigeria faces a perennial problem of low learning outcomes. Data from the Nigeria Education Data Survey 2015 and the Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN) Composite Survey 2012 and 2016 indicate not only low attainments in literacy and numeracy but also declining trends. The ESSPIN Composite Survey 3 Gender and Inclusion Report, 2016 also points to gender gaps in learning outcomes, with boys significantly outperforming girls on all tests except P2 numeracy.
KaLMA aims to build foundational Hausa and English literacy and numeracy skills for primary 4 (P4) to primary 6 (P6) children using the Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) approach, equipping them with foundational literacy and numeracy skills before they leave primary school. KaLMA is a partnership between the British Council and TaRL Africa. TaRL Africa is a newly formalised partnership between Education NGO Pratham, and research centre J-PAL, who have been working together developing cost-effective, scaleable literacy and numeracy interventions for more than 15 years. The fruits of these efforts have been the development of what we now refer to as the TaRL approach.
The KaLMA project will be delivered in all 240 public primary schools in Wudil and Dawakin Tofa LGAs of Kano State. KaLMA will target all P4-6 children (23,559 in Dawakin Tofu and 28,152 in Wudil) and teachers (approximately 256 in Dawakin Tofa and 418 in Wudil). We have purposefully chosen to pilot in all schools so that we develop and learn about models which can be easily replicated and scaled across Kano and other North Western states.
Implementation of KaLMA is expected to begin in September 2019 and a fixed term employee contract for this post will be issued only after the contract with the donor is signed. A total of 267 working days have been budgeted for this position to be delivered over a period of 16 months. The British Council reserves the right to withdraw this post at any time until the employment contract is signed.

Main Opportunities/Challenges for this Role
  • This role will work closely with the KaLMA Operations Manager and other relevant team members to manage the financial operations related to the delivery of the project in compliance with donor and British Council project delivery standards.
  • It will also:
    • Afford the post holder exposure to various internal stakeholders across the operations
    • Increase the knowledge and use of SAP (financial management software) of the post holder
    • Involve working to tight deadlines to support delivery through financial operations support and other tasks
  • 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
  • This makes Nigeria a very challenging environment in which to deliver programmes.  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
  • S/he will work closely with the programme delivery and management teams.
Accountabilities, Responsibilities and Main Duties
Project Delivery:
  • To undertake timely processing of invoices to designated workshops, meetings and events according to stated requirements
  • Clearly communicate payment processing requirements and any changes to users and the responsible operations manager
  • Processing payments and reconciling records according to agreed time standards for same. 
Payment Processes:
  • To undertake the preparation and/or processing of all offline payment vouchers and cheques
  • Maintenance of 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 Operations Manager or Finance Manager, keeping and recording items in Finance Safe
  • Printing, filing, scanning and updating of finance related documents
  • Supporting all payment and processing functions of the finance team
  • Working closely with the Operations Manager or Finance Manager and the Country Finance Team to ensure that due process is followed, and that Nigeria’s finances are managed in line with corporate and client requirements  
Team Support and Contribution:
  • To assist in taking on responsibilities to support the Programme Finance team where necessary and practical
  • Ensure professionalism is demonstrated in own work area and customer / client needs and perspectives are reflected in own behaviours and focus
  • To support the embedding of continuous learning and improvement into the team.
Other Administrative Work:
  • As required.
Key Relationships:
  • KaLMA Operations Manager
  • KaLMA Team Lead
  • KaLMA Project Delivery Team
  • British Council Nigeria Finance team
  • British Council Nigeria Procurement team
  • KaLMA Delivery Consortium partners
  • Project Consultants, suppliers and vendors.
Role Requirements
  • Passport requirements/Right to work in country: All applicants should have a pre-existing legal status to live and work in Nigeria. British Council will not facilitate / sponsor visa applications and work permits.
  • Direct contact or managing staff working with children?: Appropriate Child Protection assurance checks in accordance with British Council policy.
  • Notes: Some weekend and unsocial work required. Travel around Northern Nigeria, Nigeria and other locations will be required from time to time.
Person Specification
  • Fluency in written and spoken English - Shortlisted candidates will either demonstrate they have met the required standard through presentation of an agreed English language certificate or will be required to take the APTIS test and demonstrate a B2 level of English proficiency.
  • Relevant Undergraduate Degree from a recognised institution or equivalent professional experience
  • Fully or part qualified on any Accounting qualification such as ACA, ACCA and CIMA.
Role Specific Knowledge & Experience
  • Minimum of 1 year experience working in a programme finance environment.
  • High levels of personal effectiveness and the ability to focus on achieving deadlines.
  • Experience working with donor funded programmes
  • Experience of operating in a complex, multi-cultural context.
  • Computer skills - A good knowledge of Microsoft Office suite.
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.
British Council Behaviours:
  • Being accountable (Essential): Delivering my best work in order to meet my commitments
  • Making it happen (Essential): Challenging myself and others to deliver and measure better results
  • Working together (More demanding): Ensuring that others benefit as well as me
  • Connecting with others (More demanding): Actively appreciating the needs and concerns of myself and others
  • Shaping the future (Essential) Looking for ways in which we can do things better
  • Creating shared purpose (Essential): Communicating an engaging picture of how we can work together.
Application Closing Date and Time
26th September, 2019 (23:59 UK time).

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

Click here to download Job Details (Pdf)

Click here to download BC Behaviour (pdf)

Click here to download BC Core Skills (pdf)

  • In your application form, please clearly explain how you meet the essential and desirable skills, qualification and experience criteria mentioned in the person specification section of the role profile
  • This will help us determine your fit for the role and increase your application's chances of success.


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