Investigations launched into Chinese supermarket’s alleged refusal to serve Nigerian customers

Francis Akhalbey April 23, 2024
The Royal Choice Chinese restaurant is accused of refusing to sell to Nigerians -- Photo: The Cable

The owners of a Chinese supermarket in Nigeria have been summoned by the West African nation’s Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) after the establishment was accused of barring Nigerians from entering the store and patronizing their products.

According to local news outlet The Cable, the Chinese supermarket in question, Royal Choice, is located in the capital Abuja. The facility, which sells Chinese foods and beverages, is situated on the China General Chamber of Commerce premises. 

Royal Choice is said to have come under scrutiny over the weekend after many people registered their displeasure over the supermarket’s alleged policy of serving only Chinese customers. 

The FCCPC has since instructed the owner to attend an investigative hearing “to testify, make dispositions and present evidence with respect to the commission’s ongoing investigation/inquiry”. 

The agency has also instructed the supermarket to present its Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) status report revealing information about its directors and “any and all lease agreement.”

“Take notice that you are required to attend in person in compliance Summons. You are further required to produce and provide the above on or before Wednesday, April 24, 2024,” the FCCPC stated.

“Take further notice that failure to comply with this Summons to offence under Section 33 (3) of the FCCPA, and subject to penalties Million Naira (N20,000,000.00 [$15,000]), or a term of imprisonment up to three years, or to both penalties and imprisonment.”

A resident on April 21 shared a viral video where he claimed the supermarket wasn’t allowing Nigerians to enter and patronize their services, The Cable reported.

“There is this Chinese restaurant I saw online. They have food, ramen and other things. So, I wanted to check it out and when I got there the security guard told me the supermarket is strictly for Chinese people. If you are a Nigerian, you can’t go in and can’t buy anything,” the person said.

Boladale Adeyinka, who is the Director of Surveillance and Enforcement for the FCCPC, said the supermarket was locked when they arrived to issue the summons. 

“Enquiries have shown that as at this morning, this supermarket was opened and people were here,” Adeyinka said. “CCTV footage also showed that at about 8.29 am, two vehicles departed from this premises, allegedly containing the owner of this supermarket.”

This recent incident adds to other previous reports of Chinese businesses allegedly denying services to African customers. In 2020, Face2Face Africa reported that authorities in Zambia closed down a Chinese restaurant in the capital, Lusaka for allegedly refusing to serve locals. 

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: April 23, 2024


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