Head of Security at British Council Nigeria (Lagos and 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:

Job Title: Head of Security

Locations: Lagos and Abuja
Pay Band: 8
Region: Sub Saharan Africa
Department: Business Support Services
Job Category: Business Solutions
Duration: Indefinite
Report: Director Operation Nigeria

Role Purpose

  • To manage, enhance and embed the British Council Nigeria Security Risk Management function.
  • To provide high quality, efficient and integrated security risk management in line with the British Council Global manual in order to support, enable and develop British Council Nigeria operations.
  • The post-holder will be an active member of the Nigeria Senior Leadership Team (SLT), will maintain and develop a network of external security contacts, and will work closely with British High Commission security personnel.

Geopolitical/SBU/Function Overview

  • The British Council has been operating in Nigeria for 75 years.  Nigeria has significant importance to the UK. As a part of the UK resource in the country, there are major opportunities for the British Council, building on our already strong existing relationships with the Nigerian government, institutions, the public and our customers/audiences.
  • To ensure our goals are achieved successfully, it is essential to manage complex and significant risks to our work, notably in security and compliance. Nigeria is the British Council’s largest operation in sub-Saharan Africa with offices in 4 cities – Port Harcourt, Kano, Abuja and Lagos. 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. All our activities are aimed at bringing benefits to both Nigeria and the UK.
  • We are already achieving substantial impact and income (current turnover is more than £20 million) and have plans to grow and develop still further. We are currently adjusting our status in Nigeria to enable us to do more.
  • Partners and clients include government, public and private institutions, foundations, private sector organisations and civil society. We work closely with the wider UK resource in Nigeria including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Department for International Trade (DIT).
  • 42% of Nigeria’s population is under 14. The country’s Vision 2020 aims to address the aspirations of a 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. Such an alignment with the UK’s priorities places the British Council in a pivotal role in developing relations between the Nigerian and British people.
  • It also increases expectations on us. To be successful, we need to build an understanding of our stakeholders; in Nigeria that the UK is modern, relevant and outward looking; and in the UK, that Nigeria, although it has wellknown challenges, is an emerging economy with substantial commercial and development opportunities.
  • In this we 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.
  • Increasingly, in order to gain scale and relevant and to reduce costs, we are working closely with other British Council operations in sub-Saharan Africa, especially in West Africa (the Cluster).
  • 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 extend our reach, build new relationships within Nigeria, and manage risks. This will ensure we develop as well as adopt and use best practice.
  • We need to ensure that our operations are managed effectively and respond quickly to evershifting security situations. Our activities take place across the country and must be supported by a security function which both understands business needs and can advise knowledgably on risk mitigation.
  • We also need rigorous and compliant frameworks and systems to support our work. The post holder will play a key support role in assisting the Directorate to achieve its priorities, ensuring that operations run smoothly and in full compliance with external and internal requirements.

Main Opportunities/Challenges for this Role

  • To develop the Head of Security role in Nigeria, as part of a growing operation.
  • Liaison with colleagues and external stakeholders across Nigeria and in the UK.


  • Understanding the complexity of the British Council’s operations in Nigeria and applying that understanding to the development of the security processes and strategy, striking a successful balance between responding to business needs and risk.

Main Accountabilities
Security Management:

  • Security input into all aspects of BC Nigeria operations to include oversight of permanent facilities, exam venues and event planning.
  • Provide day to day security management and oversight of security team and contracted security guards.
  • Oversight of BC staff and visitors whilst in Nigeria through close liaison with human resources department and management of personal tracking and execution of relevant response plans as required
  • Effective management of Travel and Journey Management throughout Nigeria ensuring security controls are implemented in line with on-going Security Risk Assessments and BC Global Security Manual.
  • On-going site audits of permanent and temporary venues to ensure the highest standards of security are maintained in order to mitigate current and future security risk and ensure compliance with the BC Global Security manual.
  • Regular auditing of Security Policy, Plans and Procedures and the staff responsible for implementation and on-going management.

Risk Assessment:

  • Provide sound, accurate and reliable security updates for BC Nigeria senior management.
  • Daily monitoring of the security environment in Nigeria.
  • Supervision of the mapping of security related incidents, drawing on open source and discrete sources, throughout current and intended BC Nigeria’s Areas of Operation (AOO)
  • Conduct on going Security Risk Assessment’s (SRA), in line with international standards, for both permanent locations and BC Nigeria programmes and events in order to identify both current and future risks and associated trigger events.
  • Support decision making on feasibility of business operation and events
  • Input into on-going assessment of Business Continuity Planning (BCP) for BC Nigeria operations.
  • Act as principal Point of Contact (POC) on all security matters for staff in the office
  • On-going update of BC Nigeria Policy, Plans and Procedures in line with the changing security environment and the BC Global Security Manual.


  • Regular Security Awareness Training for all BC Nigeria staff
  • Arrival briefing for all visitors that fall under BC Nigeria Duty of Care.
  • Revision of BC Nigeria Security Policy, Plans & Procedures throughout Nigeria
  • Regular testing of Emergency Response Procedures (ERP) with those staff responsible for their execution.
  • Regular Incident Management Training with IMT members
  • Management of Hostile Environment Awareness Training (HEAT) for those staff required to operate in Higher Risk environments
  • Management of defensive and security driver training for BC Nigeria drivers of both soft skin and armoured vehicles.

Relationship Management:

  • Establish and maintain good working relationships with British Council staff locally including the Senior Leadership Team and the Global Security Team in London.
  • Liaison with relevant external stakeholders to include; British High Commission, DFID and associated programmes, Nigerian law enforcement and military, UNDSS, International and local NGOs and commercial business.
  • Liaison with security service providers throughout the country to ensure efficient service is delivered and competitive services tendered for.

General Management:

  • Act as a Line Manager to a Pay Band 6 Deputy Security Manager. This includes advice, training and annual reporting.
  • Manage the Security budget within acceptable variances and be able to forecast, reforecast and comment on under- and over-spending throughout the year.

Key Relationships

  • Country Director
  • Director Operations
  • Country Management Team in Nigeria
  • Senior Leadership Team
  • Colleagues managing projects, exams and donor-funded programmes across Nigeria
  • Risk team in Spring Gardens, London


  • Security team at the British High Commission
  • External security and professional advisors
  • Officials at Nigerian ministries, British High Commission (BHC), and other 1HMG platform partners/devolved administration partners

Role Requirements
Threshold requirements:

  • Passport requirements/ Right to work in country: Current right to live and work in Nigeria(Shortlisted)
  • Direct contact or managing staff working with children?
  • Notes: Some unsocial hours, weekend work and travel will be required.

Language Requirements:

  • Minimum/Essential: Shortlisted candidates will need to demonstrate that they meet the required standards through the IELTS test which will be administered as part of the recruitment and selection exercise (Shortlisted and Interview/IELTS)
  • Desirable: Fluency in spoken and written Hausa (Shortlisted and Interview)


  • Degree level qualification in a relevant field or equivalent experience


  • Training or qualification in Security Risk Management or related discipline

Role Specific Knowledge & Experience

  • A minimum of 5 years of proven security management experience within the security industry, corporate sector, public sector, development sector or armed services/police. Candidate must be eligible to qualify for UKFCO vetting.
  • Experience in operating in Hostile Environment
  • Strong Analytical Skills
  • Ability to work independently
  • Relationship & People Management

Assessment Stage: Short listing and Interview


  • 10 years of proven security management experience within the security industry, corporate sector, public sector, development sector or armed services.
  • Experience of security management with an NGO or similar organisation
  • Knowledge of key security issues and factors, in Nigeria
  • Training skills both design and delivery

British Council Core Skills

  • Communication skills: Excellent English written and spoken communication skills (L4) Computer skills (L2)
  • Project & Contract Management Managing Risk (L3) Monitoring & Evaluation (L3).

British Council Behaviours
Behaviours assessed during interview stage of recruitment process:

  • Making it Happen – Most demanding level
  • Connecting with Others – Most demanding level
  • Working Together – Most demanding level

Behaviours not assessed during recruitment process:

  • Creating Shared Purpose – More demanding level
  • Shaping the Future – More demanding level
  • Being Accountable – More 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.

Application Closing Date
27th March, 2019 (23:59 UK time).

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