The building, with more than 120 shops, collapsed in the city of Onitsha, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said on Tuesday.

"Some of the rescued persons have been taken to different hospitals in Onitsha for treatment," NEMA said.

A search was under way for other survivors, it said.

Building collapses are frequent in Africa's biggest economy and top oil producer due to lax regulations and often substandard construction materials.

(Writing by Elisha Bala-Gbogbo; Editing by Nick Macfie)

By Ahmed Kingimi