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The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Dr Jubiril Martins-Kuye, said on Tuesday in Abuja that very little had been done to exploit women's potential to contribute to national development.

Martins-Kuye said this at a one-day Women in Export Development Summit organised by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, with the theme 'Empowering Women to Power Trade.'

Stressing the need to reduce the gender disparity in Nigeria ,he noted that the country would realise its full potential when gender issues at play in economic, social, political spheres were addressed.

According to him, many national and international initiatives had been undertaken to address gender-related issues in the society.

Martins-Kuye said move would bring about a means of achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 3, which underscored the need to reduce gender disparity and empower women in export trade.

He commended the NEPC for embarking on this initiative, noting that for Nigeria to be among the first 20 leading economies by the year 2020, the production activity and potential of both men and women must be recognised.

He said it was certain that the export sector could play a fundamental role in transforming the country when targeted interventions were made in shaping the minds and actions of the Nigerian women.

He urged the summit to highlight issues that the NEPC-WIEDP would address to achieve the goals.

According to the minister, efforts must be made to unlock the untapped potential of Nigerian women and increase their contribution in export trade.

Mr Usman Gwandu, the Director of Commodity and Product Inspectorate of the ministry represented the minister on the occasion.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that a similar summit would take place in Lagos on Thursday.