India and Nigeria have signed an agreement to cooperate in the pharmaceutical sector, the countries announced at the India-Nigeria Joint Commission in Delhi.

The memorandum of understanding was signed by India’s joint secretary in the department of pharmaceuticals Arun Jha, and Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control director general Paul Orhii.

The agreement was made in the presence of External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and visiting Nigerian Foreign Minister H Odein Ajumogobia, after both parties discussed ways to strengthen economic and bilateral ties.

Since the restoration of democracy in Nigeria in 1998, the country’s trade with India has increased substantially, climbing from $293.71m in 1999 to $8bn in the 2009/10 fiscal year.

Orchid Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals and Medo Pharma are the biggest Indian exporters to Nigeria.