Chief Operating Officer in Lagos, Nigeria

Financial Services
Consulting/Business Strategy & Planning
Minimum Qualification
Master's Degree
Required Experience
15+ years
Employment Type
Full Time
Male or Female
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Job Description

Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA) is a financial sector development organisation working to promote financial inclusion in Nigeria. Established in late 2007, EFInA's vision is to be the leader in facilitating an all-inclusive and growth-promoting financial system. EFInA is funded by the UK Government's Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

EFInA is seeking to recruit dynamic, strategic, and committed individuals to newly defined roles to build on its current achievements and accelerate the impact of financial inclusion in Nigeria. EFInA is a rapidly growing organisation with considerable influence in the financial sector. Employment with EFInA offers an exceptional and challenging opportunity for the right candidate.


The Role 
The Chief Operating Officer (COO) is expected to have a strong financial background, be able to rapidly assume a wide range of responsibilities, and play a central role in ensuring that the operating systems are adequate and efficient to enable EFInA to actualise its strategic objectives. The COO will lead and direct all operational matters as well as actively contribute to broader strategic planning processes. 

The successful applicant will lead EFInA’s financial, administrative, human resources and IT functions to ensure operational effectiveness and will oversee the ongoing development and implementation of EFInA’s operational policies, processes and systems. He/she will have a strong strategic focus, be results driven, and committed to high standards of performance. They must be comfortable with negotiating change, taking responsibility and making complex strategic and operational decisions, often in ambiguous contexts. The COO will also be able to act as a catalyst to ensure that all EFInA’s different departments have the organisational capacity to successfully deliver their strategic objectives. He/she will use empathy and strong influencing, negotiating, and relationship building skills to motivate staff and ensure that the Operations and Support Services Department provides optimal services to internal and external stakeholders. He/she will also initiate and take responsibility for building strategic partnerships with auditors, banks, suppliers and vendors, overseeing the external relationships developed by managers in finance, HR and administration and IT. Critically, the COO will ensure that procurement and grant management processes comply with EFInA’s Funders and regulatory requirements. 

This position presents a unique challenge for an individual who would like to play a pivotal role in the organisation. The role will provide the successful applicant with the opportunity to innovate and develop new ideas and ways of working while helping to underpin the future of the organisation as it enters the next phase of its existence. The role offers the opportunity to work as a central part of EFInA’s Executive team in creating and implementing the services, structures and systems required to achieve the organisation’s objectives. 

The position of COO will appeal to someone who is passionate about the contribution that EFInA is making in driving economic growth and reducing poverty. The successful applicant will be highly adaptable, and used to delivering results in a dynamic and fluid working environment. The COO will rapidly assume a wide range of responsibilities and make decisive and tangible contributions to EFInA as soon as he/she joins the organisation. 

Primary Relationships 
Reports to: Chief Executive Officer 
Department: Operations & Support Services 
Directly supervises: Finance Manager, HR & Admin Manager, IT Officer 
Manages external relationships with: Funders, Auditors, Banks, Suppliers, Vendors 

Principal Responsibilities and Accountabilities 
The role will include, but not be limited to the following areas: 

Operational Management

  • Distil EFInA’s strategy into an operations blueprint that details operational plans and scheduled activities, supported with the necessary resource budgets
  • Lead and guide operational support to ensure that it is efficient and effective; actively support EFInA in meeting its short and long term organisational objectives; and exceed the expectations of external stakeholders
  • Set the operational performance goals of all internal departments and hold managers accountable for achieving these standards
  • Establish and maintain standard operating procedures and practices that are in line with global best practice
  • Improve operational efficiency by continuously reviewing, developing and implementing innovations and new operational systems and processes, including reporting and filing
  • Increase the effectiveness and efficiency of support services by improving coordination and communication between the admin, IT, finance and HR functions
  • Ensure that all departments adhere to EFInA’s business and operational processes and procedures
  • Develop and implement an efficient project monitoring and reporting system for all projects to ensure compliance with overall objectives and deadlines
  • Document and review feedback on support services and operations and set indicators for improvement
  • Carry out regular risk assessments for the entire organisation and advise the CEO on appropriate actions to mitigate those risks
  • Develop a rigorous process for the procurement and contracting of external suppliers, including consultants; oversee the implementation of systems for carrying the procurement of services across EFInA; and set up and manage the monitoring of service quality, ensuring compliance with Funders and regulatory requirements

Financial Management

  • Oversee the work of the Finance Manager and the finance function as a whole to ensure compliance with regulatory and Funders requirements
  • Ensure efficient and effective management of the accounting and finance function, accuracy and reliability of financial information, and the overall sound management of EFInA’s funding and expenditure
  • Ensure effective financial management at EFInA by developing appropriate processes, systems and controls
  • Maintain and contribute to the development and design of new financial applications and databases
  • Ensure statutory compliance under the Income Tax Act and the Companies Act and provide advice and assistance to the CEO on all financial regulatory issues
  • With assistance from the Finance Manager, prepare comprehensive annual budgets for the CEO’s approval
  • Review all contracts and grant agreements for sign off by the CEO
  • Oversee the relationships the Finance Manager develops with EFInA’s bankers, financial auditors, and tax and revenue authorities
  • Ensure all renditions, audits and statutory compliance activities are carried out on time, in line with global best practice
  • Review the monthly and quarterly financial reports prepared by the Finance Manager for sign-off by the CEO. Ensure that budget variances are kept to the range specified by EFInA’s Funders. Highlight any exceptional variances for the attention of the CEO
  • Establish internal auditing systems for monitoring and ensuring the accuracy of all financial data. Prepare monthly reports on any discrepancies for the CEO
  • Prepare, review and maintain relevant vendor contracts, monitoring implementation and ensuring adherence to contract terms. Prepare quarterly vendor performance reports for the CEO
  • Review and sign off the monthly bank charges and bank reconciliations prepared by the Finance Manager
  • Sign off payment vouchers prepared by the Finance Manager for approval by the CEO, ensuring accuracy and minimal errors
  • Ensure that finance requests are resolved and communicated in a timely manner to internal and external stakeholders

Human Resources

  • With support from the HR and Administration Manager, develop and implement a human resources strategy, that ensures EFInA is resourced to deliver its strategic objectives
  • Provide leadership and strategic thinking on HR policies and procedures to ensure they meet EFInA’s needs and that EFInA recruits and retains staff with the competencies and capabilities required to optimise performance and achieve its strategic objectives
  • Ensure that the HR and Administration Manager identifies the need for new and/or improved HR systems; and implements these systems as EFInA grows and develops
  • With support from the HR and Administration Manager, develop a learning culture by sharing best practices and successes between different departments of the organisation
  • Oversee the work of the HR and Administration Manager to ensure effective delivery of EFInA’s HR function


  • Provide leadership and strategic thinking on logistical and administrative functions to ensure they meet EFInA’s needs and support EFInA in achieving its strategic objectives
  • Identify new administrative systems and processes if required as EFInA grows and develops

Information Technology (IT)

  • Provide leadership and strategic thinking on the overall management of EFInA’s IT department to ensure IT is effectively deployed to achieve EFInA’s strategy
  • Increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the IT services provision within EFInA, by ensuring IT staff stay customer focused

Total Quality Management (TQM)

  • Institute a TQM culture in EFInA by identifying, developing and implementing processes and setting standards of excellence for all departments
  • Educate all Line Managers on TQM and its requirements and work closely with all departments to ensure that TQM is embedded in all activities
  • Provide quarterly progress reports on quality related issues, recommending solutions where applicable and ensure that they are implemented, and oversee annual TQM assessments
  • Ensure quality standards for all internal and external communication are and maintained

Staff Development

  • For all staff directly reporting to this position:
  • Lead, coach, and mentor the Operations and Support Services team to ensure customer focus and high standards of delivery
  • Ensure that all output from the Operations and Support Services team meets EFInA’s high standards of delivery
  • Develop a learning culture by sharing best practices and successes between the Operations and Support Services Department and different parts of the organisation
  • Identify and provide ongoing formal/informal capacity development opportunities
  • Monitor, manage and report on the performance including setting monthly objectives, timelines and performance as reflected in their annual job plans
  • Conduct monthly reviews
  • Conduct annual performance appraisals and ensure annual job plans are complete

Additional Responsibilities

  • Take responsibility for own continuous professional development by proactively identifying and participating in formal/informal learning opportunities
  • Perform any other duties as may be assigned by the CEO


Job Competencies and Capabilities 
Qualifications & Experience 


  • Master’s degree in Economics, Business Administration, Finance, Public Administration or any related discipline from a reputable institution, or equivalent professional qualifications in Accounting and Finance, CPA, ACA, ACCA or equivalent Auditing qualification
  • Minimum of fifteen years’ work experience at a senior level in a large private sector organisation or a large non-profit organisation with international operations
  • Previous experience in general management functions, including administration, finance, treasury and IT
  • Expertise in range of accounting systems
  • Knowledge of grant-funded processes, procedures and auditing requirements
  • Direct experience and management of financial audits
  • Demonstrated experience working in a complex or pioneering environment and in facilitating change management
  • Direct experience setting up business operations and systems; and developing and implementing operational processes and procedures
  • Successful track record of operational management across multiple functions with evidence of consistent results
  • Leadership and supervision experience
  • Understanding of global best practices in operations, finance, HR, administration, and IT
  • Direct experience of working in Nigeria and internationally


  • Experience developing and implementing TQM standards and procedures
  • Project management experience with relevant certification
  • Experience in one or more of EFInA’s strategic areas


  • Inspires and leads teams to achieve results with a high standard of excellence
  • Effective influencing and relationship building skills, including at senior levels
  • Manages diverse stakeholders
  • Excellent organisational skills, with ability to handle multiple projects
  • Works independently and as part of a team
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills
  • Highly numerate, with strong analytical and problem solving skills
  • Very high attention to detail and accuracy
  • Good presentation skills
  • Advanced level competency in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Project and Access
  • personal Qualities
  • Commitment to the financial inclusion agenda
  • Energetic leader with a strong vision and passionate commitment for EFInA’s strategic objectives who will drive sectorial changes
  • Integrity and high personal ethical standards
  • Committed to delivering high quality results, with cost-effective use of resources
  • Highly professional, organised and efficient
  • Multi-tasks effectively and prioritises work based on minimal direction and multiple competing priorities
  • Results-focused
  • Works well under pressure and meet deadlines
  • Driven and a self-starter
  • Innovative
  • Proactive with high levels of initiative
  • Enterprising attitude that is quick to search out alternative solutions to needs or problems
  • Positive, flexible, supportive attitude to work
  • Exhibits a helpful behaviour beyond strict job requirements
  • Can-do approach
  • Discreet and respects confidentiality
  • Confident
  • Resilient

Remuneration: Competitive

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