The Northern Marianas Sports Association is in the process of generating a financial report in hopes of identifying funding for the Oleai Sports Complex.
In an interview with NMSA executive director Tony Rogolifoi, he said that he was informed by Rep. John Paul Sablan (R-Saipan) that if a report is generated, dating back to when NMSA took over the maintenance of the facility in 2014, the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation would sit down and work on identifying funding to keep NMSA as caretaker of the sports complex
“According to JP, once they receive the report, then that’s when they’re going to get down to the nitty gritty and try to identify some funding. They want the full report from 2014 when we took over to FY 2018,” Rogolifoi said.
Rogolifoi explained that the delegation wants proof that NMSA still needs funding to operate even though the association gets money from the lottery program.
“They want proof about those ads you see on the paper about the lottery, those are just advertisements. We started that years ago and we’re not making any money. People around here think that NMSA has plenty of money because of the ads they put out about the lottery but no. A lot of members up there do not understand how the operation is, that’s why they’re telling us to ‘submit your report because we cannot give you money without receiving your report,” the NMSA official.
Rogolifoi added that funds collected through the lottery are not mixed in with money from the government. They are kept separately and used to fund athletes in their off-island competitions.
“What we get from the government goes to the operations of the sports complex,” he said.
Rogolifoi said that NMSA has started working with a local accounting agency to help with the financial report since it dates back years. He added that the report should be completed in a month.
“I gave them everything, in terms of finances and they told us it would be completed in about a month. It’s not easy because when this agency came in, the lottery program was in a mess because accountability-wise, I don’t know what was going on, so that has [to be] corrected and it’s going to take a while. Hopefully, sooner than later because we’re trying to get the report out to the legislature and the governor,” he said.
Rogolifoi hopes that the government can fund NMSA for at least one more year in preparation for the CNMI’s hosting of the 2021 Pacific Mini Games.