The management of the Huafei Chinese Restaurant, Victoria Island, Lagos, has categorically denied discriminating against and refusing to serve or reject the business patronage of Nigerians.
In a press statement made available to Daily Sun by Ikenna Emewu, the media consultant to the Huafei Nigeria Limited, owners of Huafei Chinese Restaurant, the restaurant management denied any wrongdoing in the allegation of discrimination against Nigerians in its services.
According to the statement, a tweet by Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) Director-General Mr Babatunde Irukera, against Huafei Chinese Restaurant has been generating negative responses and was done in “absolute” bad faith
The management of the restaurant called on the FCCPC to re-open its business premises which it had sealed up.
Huafei Chinese Restaurant also called on the agency to tender an apology for taking an action that it said is unfair and has negatively affected its business and reputation.
The statement reads:
“We would want to bring to your attention and that you help us inform all Nigerians that the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) sealed up our business premises, the HUAFEI Chinese Restaurant and business premises on 33 Aboyade Cole Street, Victoria Island Lagos on Saturday, March 14, 2020
“We also want to let Nigerians know that the allegation that we discriminate against and refuse to serve Nigerians or reject their business patronage is totally wrong and absolute falsehood.
“The claim by the FCCPC is unfounded and just malicious to destroy our business interest in Nigeria.
“For the records, prior to the punitive action, no operative of the agency, a known federal government commission that should follow procedures and know what fair hearing means ever approached the management of the business for response in case it got any complaint about the business place.
“We think the most appropriate thing is that the FCCPC would have written or summoned us to defend whatever allegation against us before sealing up our business premises.
“To start with, the name of the business place or restaurant is HUA FEI and the two words in Chinese means CHINA-AFRICA. That is also the business name of the operators of the restaurant. That, in the beginning, implies that the owner of the business, Mr Liu Changan, popularly known in Nigeria as Chief Ronnie Liu is one that has respect for Africans, Nigerian and all human beings and has no discrimination intention against anybody the reason the company name has AFRICA in it.
“We later heard from the manager of the restaurant that some days ago, some two Nigerians came to the restaurant and asked to be served, after we handed them the menu, they looked through it and left. We concluded they possibly didn’t recognize the food or what to order.
“Just some days after, the business place was sealed up, without the Commission asking for our response to any allegation against us.
“Gentlemen of the press and all Nigerians, we place it on record that we have Nigerians who are witnesses that have used that same restaurant in the past.
“Moreover, Chief Ronnie Liu is a titled chief in Ogun State in recognition of his closeness and fraternity with Nigerians.
“Chie Liu has lived and done business in Lagos for at least 20 years with chains of businesses including supermarkets and has no history of discrimination against Nigerians.
“The owner of HUAFEI Chinese Restaurant, Chief Liu is the chairman of the Chinese Investors in Nigeria, a registered organization
“He is also the operator and General Manager of the China Town, a huge business plaza in Ojota Lagos where more Nigerians than the Chinese own and operate shops
“The association Chief Liu heads started a partnership with the University of Lagos in November 2018 and jointly operates the Institute of Nigeria -China Development Studies
“The organization has in the past given scholarships to Nigerian students who study in China presently.
“The same association owns the journal – NIGERIA-CHINA TIMES, a register media organization with the CAC and with ISSN 2682-597X certification from the Nigeria National Library and has Nigerians on the editorial board and its employment.
“Chief Liu in his business chain has tens of Nigerians in his employment and even has the Nigeria-China Service Centre for business and cultural cooperation between Nigeria and China. The cultural centre at the China Town even trains Nigerian children in Chinese language and culture.
“Having related this deeply with Nigeria and Nigerians, and also with living witnesses from Nigerians that have several times visited that same restaurant and another one at the China Town, there is no substance whatsoever, that one of the about 10 businesses Chief Ronnie Liu owns and operates would just like magic start discriminating against Nigerians.
“We then ask for an unreserved apology from the FCCPC and its Director-General, Babatunde Irukera who has scandalized and maligned us on the social media through his twitter handle when his agency did not act professionally in sealing up our business premises.
“We insist that it is Mr Irukera and the FCCPC that should rather bear the right toga of discrimination against us possibly because we are not Nigerians.
“We also affirm that we hold the Nigerian system and the people to high esteem because they have all been kind to us as individuals and our businesses in the past 20 years we have done business and lived in the country.