A Chinese eatery accused of refusing service to Nigerian nationals is now officially shuttered, thanks to action by the country’s Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, or FCCPC.
The Haufei Restaurant & Mall, located in Lagos, Nigeria, now faces “further regulatory action” as a result of the alleged discrimination, Nigerian outlet Nairametrics reports. Complaints have piled up against the business from angry locals who shared their poor experiences, claiming they were barred from dining in at the restaurant.
Per a “recent” company policy, Nigerians could only get takeout, while Chinese patrons were allowed to stay and eat.
FCCPC Director-General Babatunde Irukera blasted the racist rule as “simply ludicrous” before announcing the restaurant’s closure.
“There can’t be any acceptable reason to discriminate against any national, more so Nigerian in Nigeria,” Irukera said in a statement. “That we walked into a restaurant that openly declined service on account of our race is simply ludicrous. The only response to this openly outrageous conduct is interim closure.”
The director-general said the decision to shutter the business was based on “credible intel & surveillance” that the restaurant was refusing service to Nigerians.
“Staff of the biz admitted this is the policy & our operatives experienced same. Both [locations] now closed for further regulatory action,” the commission said on Twitter.
Some Nigerians had previously reported their complaints about the Haufei restaurant online, describing how they were turned away for being Black.
“We were told they only allow Chinese people to dine in and we’d have to take out to eat their food,” a Twitter user wrote in a post dated March 13. “What a world we live in. I said ‘who said so,’ they said the chef. I asked to speak to the Chef who only speaks mandarin (I speak it as well). When I asked him he said, ‘sorry his boss who’s travelled said non-Chinese people cannot dine in and it’s a recent policy.’ “
A 2018 report by The New York Times highlighted how China’s growing investment in Nigeria and other parts of the motherland has resulted in plenty of racism and discrimination. That same year, a Chinese migrant worker was arrested on “racial grounds” and deported after likening Kenyan citizens to “monkeys” in a racist tirade posted online.
The presence of Chinese corporations has had a positive impact on the continent’s economies, however, some Black Africans fear they’ve admitted a group of powerful foreigners who have unabashedly brought racist attitudes and practices with them.
“They are the ones with the capital,” David Kinyua, who runs an industrial park in Ruiru, Kenya, that’s now home to several Chinese firms, told the Times. “But as much as we want their money, we don’t want them to treat us like we are not human in our own country.”