Recent Position at British Council Nigeria for a Procurement and Contracts Manager

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.
We are recruiting to fill the position below:



Job Title: Procurement and Contracts Manager
Directorate or Region: Procurement, Corporate Services
Reports to: Deputy Director Operations, Nigeria
Department/Country: Business Services / Nigeria
Pay Band: PB7 locally-engaged
Duration of job: Permanent
Purpose of Job

  • To manage the procurement of goods and services, contract management and supplier management for the Nigeria directorate, ensuring value for money, quality of service and compliance.
  • The role is key to enabling the efficiency and effectiveness of the operation and strategic delivery, for the largest operation in SSA and seventh largest exams business in the global network.
  • With a growing operation and ambitious targets, in a high risk environment, effective procurement and contract management is pivotal to success.
  • Working collaboratively with Deputy Director Operations, SBU and Business Services leads, the postholder will embed strategy, policy, standards and compliance, manage risk, and contribute to the identification of opportunities to deliver efficiencies and service quality improvements.
  • In addition to the line management of one Exams Procurement post, business engagement, collaborative working and functional management is critical to success in this role.

British Council Operating Context

  • Nigeria is now officially the largest economy 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 British Council 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, particularly in the areas of security and compliance.
  • Nigeria is the British Council’s lagest 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 country.
  • Our 200 staff work across a range of states delivering large scale contracts, partnership programmes, examinations, and projects as well as services in Arts, Education & Society and English & Exams.  We are already achieving substantial impact and income 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 mission 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 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 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.
  • Procurement, contract management and supplier management are central to much of our work and are key areas of focus. The postholder will work on the streamlining of current practices, ensuring compliance and risk is well-managed, and aligning them to best-practice principles and end-user needs.
  • There is a major Procurement Transformation project underway at a global level, which is ensuring the embedding of a coordinated, professionalised function throughout the organisation. Engagement with the principles of this project will be a core focus in 2017 and beyond.
  • Accountabilities, responsibilities and main duties:

Key Activities will be as follows

  • Provide direct support to Deputy Director Operations with the definition, implementation and embedding of a Nigeria procurement strategy that reflects needs of the business areas, the risk environment, value for money and quality of service.
  • Provide direct support to Deputy Director Operations on the implementation of a ‘preferred supplier’ approach, building on the existing ‘approved supplier’ policy.
  • Manage the bi-annual Approved Price List (APL) refresh working with Section Heads, Compliance Manager, and the contracted external consultancy. Ongoing management of the Approved Suppliers List (ASL) including due diligence checks
  • Management of procurements from £20,000 up to £75,000, including accountability for end-to-end processes.
  • Support the business through managing tendering activity in the specification of requirements, requests for proposals, evaluation and supplier appointment.
  • Support Business Services functions in related areas including Fixed Assets acquisition, recording and disposal and inventory management.

Procurement Strategy Implementation:

  • Implement the strategic sourcing strategies in Nigeria developed by the Category Managers by managing relevant tendering, evaluation, supplier negotiations, and award processes, ensuring compliance with all relevant regulations and implementation of best practice:
  • Decide on the method of procurement in line with corporate policy, UK government legislature and EU regulations as well as local laws and regulations pertaining to procurement.
  • Carrying out tactical procurement activities including working closely with the Shared Service Centre(s) to facilitate the placement of purchase orders and invoice resolution where applicable.
  • Conducting basic market intelligence activities that lead to a sound understanding of relevant supply markets, monitoring spend, compliance and leakage.
  • Ensure high levels of compliance with Corporate Procurement Policy, including reduced risk of Fraud.
  • Negotiate and agree simple contracts for the supply of goods and services and SLA’s with suppliers, ensuring contracts are commensurate with commercial best practice and aligned to the Category Plan
  • Lead contractual and commercial change negotiations and manage all commercial aspects of non-pay third party spend for Nigeria
  • Manage the contract development process ensuring all contracts are of a term commensurate with commercial best practice, are aligned to Category Plans where they exist, and provide a suitable set of performance metrics to enable effective ongoing management
  • Support the implementation and use of e- procurement technology to increase operational efficiency, maintaining a benefits tracking process to enable the identification of planned and delivered benefits.
  • Support project management for major procurement projects, occasionally taking the lead professional procurement role when so directed by the Cluster lead on these projects to ensure appropriate input of procurement advice, and effective project management.
  • Responsible for managing and forecasting spend with suppliers on behalf of the business.

Contract Management:

  • Provide direct support to Deputy Director Operations in implementing ongoing continuous improvement to contract management processes and systems for the Nigeria directorate, ensuring the operation has the right tools, knowledge, skills and access to resources required to support compliance and the operation’s strategic direction.
  • Ensure effective contract management and compliance processes are embedded in the business and BC Nigeria adheres to corporate policies, standards and processes
  • Manage the monitoring and evaluation of contract compliance.
  • Working with suppliers and stakeholders
  • Working with clients, identify opportunities to deliver benefits through a shift from transactional procurement to tactical procurement.
  • Work closely with stakeholders to Identify and develop requirements prior to tendering; ensure suppliers are managed appropriately to create value
  • Manage the resolution of any commercial disagreements without de-stabilising key relationships
  • Effectively manage contracts and vendor catalogues.
  • Manage the development and introduction of effective processes, standards, templates, tools and systems which support contract management and related areas and are embedded across BC Nigeria.
  • Work closely with programme managers, SBU and Business Services leads to understand in detail their contract management requirements and lead the delivery of professional and effective advice and support which meets their needs.
  • Ensure existing contract management services are delivered to the highest quality and as efficiently as possible, demonstrating year on year improvements.
  • Leading on or supporting senior managers where there is a major concern/breach of conditions of the contract by a service provider or when an emergency occurs such as a service provider ceasing to trade, becoming bankrupt or loss of registration.
  • Build relationships with key suppliers, facilitating their compliance with our standards and processes; constructive working relationship; and a springboard for improved service delivery and value for money.

Risk, Compliance and Budget Management:

  • Build a thorough understanding of the risk environment in Nigeria with particular emphasis on the important factors related to procurement and contract management.
  • Ensure compliance of the spirit and letter of the procurement policy, across the Nigeria operation through continuous monitoring and stakeholder engagement.
  • Ensure procurement, contract and supplier management is in line with British Council policies, embedding EDI into the heart of the function.
  • Lead on relevant tasks for Audit preparation and follow up actions.

Key Relationships:

  • Internal (British Council Nigeria)
  • Nigeria Senior Leadership Team (SLT)
  • Deputy Director Operations
  • Key colleagues in Strategic Business Units (SBUs) and Business Services functions
  • Compliance Manager:
    • Internal – Operational teams who monitor service performance; Service owners who are the primary interface into the business; Strategic Business Unit (SBU) management teams; Functional management teams; Geographic management teams
    • Internal – direct consumers of services provided by the suppliers.
    • External – Supplier representatives, including operational teams and also executives of suppliers (we are a significant and high profile customer and maintain personal relationships with senior execs of most of our major suppliers)

Other important features or requirements of the job:

  • The postholder 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.  Attendance at events.
  • Please specify any passport/visa and/or nationality requirement. Must have the right to work and travel within Nigeria.
  • Please indicate if any security or legal checks are required for this role. Appropriate due diligence and security checks required.

Person Specification

  • Behaviours assessed during interview stage of recruitment process:
    • Being Accountable – Most demanding level
    • Making it Happen – Most demanding level
    • Shaping the Future – More demanding level
  • Behaviours not assessed during recruitment process:
    • Creating Shared Purpose – More demanding level
    • Connecting With Others – More demanding level
    • Working Together – Most demanding level

Assessment stage:

  • The position holder will be required to demonstrate all six behaviours, on the job. These will be assessed during year end performance evaluations.
  • Behaviours to be assessed during the interview stage of recruitment are referenced.

Skills and Knowledge:

  • Managing Projects – Level 3
  • Developing Business – Level 2
  • Basic knowledge of contract law
  • Analytical, evaluative, and financial management abilities with keen attention to detail and the ability to meet deadlines.
  • Managing finance and Resources – Level 2/3
  • Communicating and influencing – Level 3


  • Previous experience in Procuring and Supplier Relationship Management role
  • Demonstrable experience and knowledge of working within main category areas
  • Demonstrable relevant work/industry experience in Procurement and Supplier management.
  • Experience of relevant Category Management.
  • Building relationships with internal stakeholders


  • Educated to Degree level or equivalent.
  • Professional qualification in procurement or studying towards one.

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

Click here to download job details (MS Word)

Click here to download BC Behaviour (pdf)

Click here to download BC Core skills (MS Word)

Note: You should only fill out the application after thoroughly reading through the Role Profile & Guidance Notes. There’s some important information you don’t want to miss.

Application Deadline: 31st August, 2017.

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