My research is instigated by the observation of inverse variation in economic development between Indonesia and Nigeria over 32 years 1966 to 1998; which, coincidentally mirrors the Africa-Asia growth divergence over the same period. The research is pursued within the prism of the Rentier State thesis and seeks to test the conditions of validity/repudiation for the theory by primary evidence from the development experience of both countries. This study attempts to fill the perceived niche of a sectoral comparison (oil industry) of both cases in the literature; to complement the institutional, resource curse and econometric analysis of the Dutch disease that dominate the budding literature. The research is largely based on data collected by direct interviews with policy makers, academicians and politicians in both countries, who were active in the study period; extensive interview is also conducted with personnel of the National Oil Companies in both countries. Secondary data especially statistical is also widely used.