Benin – A series of public hearings was conducted by a group of about twenty Beninese Members of Parliament in eight municipalities across the country, with to objective to visit several food production and cotton gin plants, in the framework of the Parliamentarians’ right to control government actions.
The visits were organised by the National Assembly of Benin, AWEPA and the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD).
The first phase of the hearings took place from 29 to 30 December 2014 in the southern part of the country. Three plants in food production (pineapple in Allada, tomato in Kpomassè and orange juice in Kpota Za) were targeted, but the parliamentarians were denied access on all occasions.
However, the MPs had fruitful working meetings with local authorities and resource persons living on site, which allowed them to gather valuable information on the operation of the plants. A cotton gin factory was also visited, in the locality of Bohicon.
After a break -devoted to the Beninese President’s State of the Nation address to the Parliament on 30 December 2014 – the MPs headed to the northern part of the country, where they visited the cotton gin factories based in Parakou, Ndali, Bembèrèkè and Banikoara. The Parliamentarians had the opportunity to interact with the staff and the managers, as well as with other participants on the various challenges they are facing.