Since the discovery of oil in 1956 and independence 1960, Nigeria has been seen as a clear example of a natural resource curse, growth without poverty reduction and increasing inequality. Does current inequality have colonial roots or is it an outcome of the oil-dependent economy? Differently from the era of petroleum, growth in during the colonial period was based on the export of agricultural products. We study the inequality trends over time and the roles played by the primary and the extractive sectors respectively. In this large, populous and heterogeneous territory, data challenges are many. In assessing trends in inequality, the discrepancy between the census taking in the colonial and post-colonial period is particularly problematic.