The Lagos state government has warned of tough new measures to curb the practice of hanging laundry out to dry in public.

The Lagos environment commissioner Tunji Bello said authorities would "seal up" any building where residents displayed their laundry outside “indiscriminately.”

Bello described hanging washing on street fences and on the frontage of buildings – a practice he said was becoming the norm in certain areas of the state – as an "environmental nuisance."

He also warned Lagos residents to stop spreading clothes on bridges and along major highways for safety reasons.

“We have directed the officials of the Lagos State Waste Management Agency (LAWMA) to pack those clothes as refuse wherever they see them,” Bello said.

He appealed to residents to hang their washing within their homes instead of in public places.