What is the biggest thing you do to plan for a financial crisis? How do you handle your income during the time of plenty?
This story of Joseph economy strategy is as old as the Egyptian civilisation but the principles are still very relevant in this 21st century. Pharaoh had a dream, which interpretation is that there will be seven years of prosperity and seven years of scarcity.
Every economy, be it personal or national must go through this two phases of life. What you do when you are in your years of prosperity will determine how well you will live during your years of scarcity.
Weâ€™ve seen this here in Nigeria. In the past 57 years, we have had our own share of seven years of prosperity and seven years of scarcity. Nigeria has enjoyed a period of oil boom (1971-1977) and endured over seven eras of recessions averaging about 10 months each. The country recorded recessions in 1976, 1987, 1991, 1995, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Some examples of people in their years of prosperity; an applicant who just got a very good paying job, a contractor who just won a very lucrative contract, a businessman whose business is doing very well, the list goes on for different individuals. What we do with these years of prosperity, as individual or as a nation will determine how well we can handle the years of scarcity.
THE PRINCIPLES OF JOSEPH ECONOMY
Joseph created 20 percent savings policy on all harvest The major principle behind the success of the Joseph economy is saving one fifth (20%) of all the crops during the seven years of prosperity. Joseph instructed the Egyptians to save one fifth of the produce from the land each year. They took to that task for seven years, putting the grain in storage bins.
If Joseph and the rest of Egypt had followed the â€œlive-it-upâ€ path, they would have perished when the famine hit. Instead, they sacrificed during the time of plenty to save themselves from the future financial crisis
A lesson to learn as a nation or an individual is to save at least 20% of our income during our years of plenty. As a nation, Nigeria should have a policy where the local, state and federal government should be able to save at least 20% of all monthly allocation coming to them with proper accountability of how much have been saved.
Joseph understood/understudied his market
As his first act, Joseph went through all the land of Egypt on an inspection tour. He would have to become familiar with the people who managed agriculture, the locations and conditions of the fields, the crops, the roads, and means of transportation.
It is inconceivable that Joseph could have accomplished all of this on a personal level. He would have had to establish and oversee the training of what amounted to a Department of Agriculture and Revenue.
One significant point that Joseph did was the regional strategy used in the grain collection and storage: he put in each city the food produced by the local fields. Why is the location of the food stores an important detail worth mentioning? According to some, the importance of storing the grain locally was to ensure that people would not have to travel great distances for food once the famine arrived.
The grains were not stored in one place, grains were stored in different cities; it was decentralised.
Lesson to learn: As an individual or as a nation, we have to diversify our means of savings.
Joseph placed a great value on his resources
After the people ran out of money, Joseph allowed them to barter their livestock for food. This plan lasted for one year during which Joseph collected horses, sheep, goats, cattle and donkeys.
He would have had to determine the value of these animals and establish an equitable system for exchange. Providing access to points of food distribution and treating people even-handedly become acutely important administrative matters.
A significant point to note, Joseph never gave out any grain for free, not even to the government officials.
Lesson to learn: You have what other people are looking for; put a value on your skills, talents and gifts, never give it out for free. And as a nation we should put a stop on wasteful spending, things should not be giving out for free, not even to the government official.
Joseph created a relief programme
Joseph, however, allowed the people to sell their land and to enter into servitude, but he did not take advantage of them in their powerlessness. Joseph would have had to see that these properties were valued correctly in exchange for seed for planting.
Lesson to learn: the government should teach her citizen how to fish rather than just giving them fish to eat, we should move from a consuming nation to a producing nation.
Joseph created a long term agricultural policy and infrastructure
Josephâ€™s work touched on nearly every practical area of the nationâ€™s life. His office would have required that he learn much about legislation, communication, negotiation, transportation, safe and efficient methods of food storage, building, economic strategizing and forecasting, record-keeping, payroll, the handling of transactions both by means of currency and through bartering, human resources, and the acquisition of real estate. Joseph then made it a law throughout the land of Egypt that pharaoh should receive one-fifth (20 percent) of all the crops grown on his land.
Lesson to learn: To be successful in any area of business, create a system or structure that will help maintain the steady flow of income. Also always think in term of continuity/ longevity.
Nigeria and Nigerians has the capacity for greatness if we can start applying the principles of greatness today. All stories were sourced from Genesis 41-47 (The Holy Bible).
– Olodu keonyedi is a trained engineer and by passion and personal development a public/motivational speaker, a business coach and human capacity developer, he has a B.Eng degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Nigeria Nsukka, he is a member of Nigeria Society of Engineer and a COREN registered Engineer.
Email: email@example.com Tel: 08037489704, ig: @olodu_keonyedi www.facebook.com/olodu keonyedi_mentorship