This paper examined attrition in primary schools in Nigeria with specific reference and focus on some policies and programmes of Nigeria’s educational system with a view to highlighting its possible effect on the attainment of the Education for All (EFA) goals by 2015. It reviewed equal educational opportunity in relation to school environments that may be responsible for high pupil attrition or dropout, reasons for dropout, as well as the erstwhile Universal Primary Education (UPE) and how the sad experiences at implementation may recur in the current Universal Basic Education (UBE) without proper estimates of wastage indices like attrition rates among various cohorts. A major recommendation was that a data bank which captures the continuous flow of children from start to graduation be created for easy analyses of dropout or attrition rates in primary schools at any point in time. These estimates would be useful tools for educators in more effective and efficient management of the school system at this all important foundation level.
Key words: Educational policies/programmes, Nigeria, attrition, primary schools.