Proliferations of small arms has been adjudged as a stimuli that has continuously impact Nigeria’s internal security negatively. It has also been highlighted that the presence, movements and proliferations of small arms has enabled the rise of armed violence in Nigeria including the various incessant communal clashes, ethnic and religious conflicts across Nigerian regions with uprising of other various militant groups. The most worrisome aspect in the rise of armed violence in Nigeria is that, the phenomenon has taken a dangerous dimension in recent times where suspected criminals, cultist, terrorist or militants are often identified as students of tertiary institutions. Arising from the prevailing armed violence among students of tertiary institutions in Nigeria, the study was conducted to reveal arms proliferation among the students of the selected tertiary institutions in Southwest Nigeria and how this has been driven the increasing rate of violence on society. Interview data collection strategies was used and, the key informants were purposefully selected using snowball sampling techniques.  The tertiary institutions were selected based on the reported cases of students’ armed violence across the selected area. The study revealed that small arms proliferations are taking prominence in various tertiary institutions across Nigeria with incidences of arms-involving violence indicating a future mirror of serious threat to national security. The study recommends that Nigerian government should intensify more actions in controlling the movement of small arms and the demand factors of small arms in Nigerian Higher Institutions.

Key words: armed violence, small arms Nigeria, students, tertiary institutions, proliferation.