During the last decade, the flow of oil revenue into Nigeria has expanded spectacularly, dwarfing other sectors of the economy. Its implications for development, for the growth of a commercial capitalism, and for the corresponding emergence of a more defined class structure are crucial issues about which much has been written. What we have heard less about, however, is how the ordinary people of Nigeria react to the floods of petro-naira which they themselves cannot reach. Fortunes are being made out of oil, but the living conditions of the rural and urban masses deteriorate as agriculture declines and the urban centres become overcrowded with the jobless and the impoverished. What are the attitudes of these people to the petro-naira? The answer to this question is no less important than an analysis of the hard economic data for our understanding of what is actually going on in Nigeria today.