Chinese Supermarket in Abuja Closed Amid Discrimination Controversy

by Ohepo Ohepo

A Chinese supermarket located in Abuja has come under fire for enforcing a discriminatory policy that bars Nigerians from shopping at the facility. The controversy emerged after reports surfaced that only Chinese nationals were permitted entry into the store. PUNCH Online reported that the supermarket, housed within the China General Chamber of Commerce along Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Road, was closed when their correspondent visited the premises on Monday morning.

Eyewitnesses at the scene observed that the store was shut and secured with an anti-theft padlock. This closure follows a wave of public outrage sparked by the supermarket’s exclusionary practice, which was first noticed earlier in the year. On Sunday, security personnel on site confirmed to a PUNCH correspondent that the restrictive entry policy had been in place since January, without any explicit reasons provided by the management.

According to one security officer, who chose to remain anonymous, the directive was clear: no Nigerians were allowed entry, with the store exclusively serving Chinese individuals. “They said our people should stop coming. The shop is only meant for Chinese people,” the guard explained, adding that all advertisements had been pulled offline to prevent further confusion among potential Nigerian shoppers.

Despite the restrictions, a PUNCH correspondent was granted access on Sunday under unusual circumstances, revealing a stock of both foreign and local food items, drinks, and essentials—all without price tags. An attendant, who spoke Yoruba, expressed surprise over a Nigerian being allowed inside, speculating it might be because the visitor did not arrive by car.

On Monday, however, the situation at the gate had changed, with new security personnel allowing access without any queries. This shift in enforcement was not accompanied by any official explanation, and attempts to gather more information from passersby were unsuccessful.

The incident has led to a heightened security presence in the area, and the supermarket remained inaccessible to the public for an extended period while investigations into the discriminatory policy continue.

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