Nigeria's National University Commission has declared all foreign university satellite campuses illegal pending approval of guidelines governing their operation.
The guidelines will require the campuses to obtain government endorsement.
Peter Okebukola, executive secretary of the commission, warned that without government approval, any claim to affiliation was bogus.
"Some unscrupulous individuals use such opportunities to make quick money, and many Nigerians who are desirous of acquiring a university education have fallen victim to this racket," he said.
The commission will propose guidelines that are drawn largely from Unesco policies on quality provision of cross-border higher education.
They will include a requirement that satellite campuses' academic and administrative structures - such as libraries, laboratories and quality of staff - be equivalent to or comparable with those in the mother institution in the exporting country. In addition, all foreign-based institutions will have to provide evidence of their national recognition and prove that they and the programmes they offer are accredited.
The guidelines will also cover quality-management systems. Agents will have to agree to respect Nigeria's quality assurance and accreditation systems.