Nigerian baby
Official have lamented the increasing cases of abandoned babies in Nigeria FLORIAN PLAUCHEUR/AFP/Getty Images

The government of Nigeria's Lagos state has said it has rescued hundreds of abandoned babies over the past year.

Last year, the Director of Child Development at the Ministry of Women Affairs, Yomi Adagazu, raised the alarm over the increasing cases of abandoned babies.

In 2016, 237 abandoned babies were rescued across Lagos state, including 106 boys and 131 girls.

According to Lagos' Youth Commissioner Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, quoted by local press, the figure shows a significant rise in the number of abandoned babies.

"The figure is higher than the 149 children rescued in 2015," Akinbile-Yussuf said, adding that, so far this year, 53 babies have been rescued.

Babies were found abandoned along main roads, or dumped in cemeteries and rubbish tips.

In November 2016, Adagazu urged parents to closely monitor their children, and improve sexual education. She also warned young girls against peer pressure that could result in early sex and could, consequently, jeopardise their future.

Teenage mothers – women aged 15 to 19 who have had children or were pregnant – in Nigeria stood at 31.5% in 2016, according to the World Bank.