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By NBF News
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NIGERIAN and Indian trade has grown rapidly beyond $14.628 billion in 2010-2011 and is now projected to hit $19 billion in the India financial year ending by this month.

Remarkably too, it has also been reported that India, with an investment of $5 million, was the largest investor in Nigeria in 2010.

Foreign Minister, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru and India's High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ambassador Mahesh Sachedev, gave these figures in Lagos at the opening of the Second India-Africa Academic Conference organised by Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) and Indian Council on World Affairs (ICWA).

Also, former Minister for External Affairs, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi; Director- General of NIIA, Prof. Bola Akintenrinwa and his counterpart in ICWA, Ambassador S.T. Devare, among others, have called for increased interaction between the two nations' research institutes in facilitating ideas and inputs as well as people-to-people contacts that can promote mutual beneficial relations between Nigeria and India.

But despite the increase in bilateral trade, Ashiru has asked India to, apart from promoting bilateral and investment drive in Nigeria and Africa, to support the quest to entrench democracy on the continent as well as assisting in tackling and re-defining unequal power balance in the global environment.

The minister asserted that India, with its rich credential as the oldest democracy, should to go beyond its current pro-sovereignty, anti-interventionist approach to international politics to become proactive in the support for democratic consolidation in Africa.