Nigerian authorities Saturday shut down a Chinese restaurant in Lagos over its alleged discriminatory policy against Nigerian citizens.
The restaurant, identified as Haufei, is located at 33 Aboyade Cole, Victoria Island. The facility also houses a supermarket also owned and operated by the Chinese nationals.
The restaurant owners, it is alleged, do not sell food and drinks to Nigerians. Nigerians are said not to have been allowed to buy from the supermarket as well.
The operatives of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) shut down the restaurant and the supermarket after secretly collating evidence of their alleged discriminatory practices against Nigerian citizens, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.
The operation was led by the head of FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera.
Mr Irukera, who confirmed the development to PREMIUM TIMES, said he directed two persons to walk in separately into the restaurant, before he personally walked in too. The restaurant declined the three of them service, he said.
“Two different people who went with me went in first and it was very clear that they declined them service,” he said.
“In fact, the chief security officer and the cashier at the restaurant admitted that it is their policy not to sell to Nigerians.”
The FCCPC would determine what sanctions to apply against the Chinese business at the end of investigation, Mr Irukera said.
“Our law prohibits obnoxious practices. It is obviously obnoxious to discriminate. They are a range of options that regulators have, prosecution being the topmost of it depending on the full context whether it was the first time or repeat, whether there are other complex issues. We will decide within the spectrum.
“It might be that we will penalise them administratively and ask them to take corrective measures and then put them under supervision for a period of time to keep watching and see that they follow through the corrective measures.
“But if their conduct is a pattern and something that is very egregious then certainly we would consider prosecuting,” Mr Irukera said.
Mr Irukera said there was an attempt to obstruct the agency’s operatives at the restaurant and the supermarket and that those responsible for it would be prosecuted.
It is unclear how long the alleged practice has been going on in the restaurant and the supermarket.
PREMIUM TIMES could not immediately reach the owners of the Chinese business for their reaction.
Pix: Inside the Lagos Chinese restaurant