Alexander Kwamena Afenyo-Markin, the Deputy Majority Leader has denied ever saying that passing the controversial E-Levy puts the government in a better position to evacuate Ghanaians in war-hit Ukraine.
The Effutu MP is being reported by a section of the media to have urged the Minority in Parliament to support the passage of the controversial levy to raise more revenue for exercises of such nature.
“I’ve never said that we need E-Levy to enable us to bring down Ghanaian students from Ukraine,” Afenyo-Markin said on The Asaase Breakfast Show on Friday (25 February).
“I just want to make it clear, those on social media, those who are following that news, I Kwamena Afenyo-Markin, I am careful with things I say in the public space. If I am not sure, I will not say them. If I am saying it too, I am sure I will defend what I am saying based on facts.
“I will never say that E-Levy is necessary or that we should bring in E-Levy so that we can get money to bring Ghanaians from Ukraine, but rather I had made a strong case for us to introduce the E-Levy, especially now that we have this crisis which will have effect on our economy, because obviously import will be affected, export will be affected. The world economy will not be the same and Ghana is not outside of the world economy,” Afenyo-Markin clarified in conversation with Kwaku Nhyira-Addo.
Listen to the full interview below:
It comes after Russian forces invaded Ukraine, with missile strikes and explosions reported near major cities and on its military infrastructure.
Speaking to Asaase News on Thursday (24 February), one of the students, Araba Mensah said they are living in fear.
“So, this morning a military airport in my city, which is about 30 to 40 minutes drive away from where I stay was bombed, and as a result of that it has increased the rate at which people are panicking and they are afraid.
“So, currently we really need the government of Ghana to come to our aid, if they can help evacuate us to our country and if when situations calm down, we can come back, we will be very glad, because that is what we need, because staying here is not safe at all,” she said.
“As it stands now we just want to come home to see our families so that our families too will be ok, because our families are so tensed, they are calling, calls are coming in every minute. It is causing a lot of fear and panic even back home, so we really want to get back home because this place is not safe,” Mensah said.
Listen to Araba Mensah in the attached audio below:
Reacting to the development, Ghana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged Ghanaians in Ukraine to seek shelter in their homes or in designated government places of shelter, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“The Government of Ghana is gravely concerned about the security and safety of our over 1000 students and other Ghanaians in Ukraine and has asked them to shelter in place in their homes or in government places of shelter as we engage the authorities, our relevant diplomatic missions and our honorary consul on further measures,” it tweeted.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Union of Student (NUGS) said it has initiated talks with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the way forward.
In a statement, NUGS called on government to help evacuate students in a similar manner it did from China at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Russian forces have invaded Ukraine, with missile strikes and explosions reported near major cities and on its military infrastructure.
The Ukrainian military says it has killed about 50 Russian “occupiers” and shot down at least six Russian aircraft, although this has not been independently verified.
Russia says that it has met little resistance and claims that Ukrainian armed forces are fleeing en masse, abandoning their weapons and positions.
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