Having enjoyed over a decade of rapid economic growth, as well as reaping billions of dollars in oil earnings, Nigeria was once the exemplar of the “Africa Rising” narrative. But the persistence of stark inequality, as well the collapse of global oil prices, has exposed the failure of Nigeria’s economy to diversify, or to translate natural wealth into shared prosperity. Drawing on original research as well as in-depth interviews conducted over several years, this book explores the causes of Nigeria’s continued dependency on oil. It shows that this dependency is rooted in Nigeria’s fractious political environment, in which elite competition, donor pressures, and shocks caused by fluctuating oil prices have all worked to constrain government policy, and to hinder efforts to diversify economic activity. This, in turn, has perpetuated the deep inequality of Nigerian society. While there has been much debate over the “right” development policies for Africa, relatively little scholarship has considered the wider political context in which such policies are shaped. Usman’s work therefore fills a significant gap in development scholarship, and draws vital lessons from the Nigerian experience which can be equally applied to other resource dependent economies in Africa.